The Human Truth Foundation

Human Rights and Freedom in Qatar

By Vexen Crabtree 2019


Comments:
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#equality #freedom #human_rights #politics #qatar #tolerance

Qatar
State of Qatar

[Country Profile Page]
StatusIndependent State
CapitalDoha
Land Area 11 610km21
LocationAsia, Middle East
Population1.9m (2011)2
Life Expectancy78.32yrs (2017)3
GNI$129 916 (2017)4
ISO3166-1 CodesQA, QAT, 6345
Internet Domain.qa6
CurrencyRial (QAR)7
Telephone+9748

Qatar is very poor at ensuring human rights and freedom compared to the rest of the world, and it has cultural issues when it comes to tolerance and equality. Qatar comes in the top 20 in its Global Peace Index rating9 and in eliminating modern slavery10 (although hundreds of preventable deaths may be attributable to poor labour protection law11) . It does better than average in fighting corruption12 and in commentary from Human Rights Watch13. Qatar does not succeed in everything, however. It does worse than average in supporting press freedom14, supporting personal, civil & economic freedoms15, opposing gender inequality16 and in its nominal commitment to Human Rights17. And finally, it falls into the bottom 20 in fighting anti-semitic opinions18 and in LGBT equality19.


1. Politics and Freedom

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #eritrea #france #freedom #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #mass_media #peace #politics #Qatar #slavery

Anti-Semite Opinions (2014)18
Pos.Lower is better
%18
1Laos0
2Philippines3
3Sweden4
...
89Oman76
90Lebanon78
91Morocco80
92Qatar80
93UAE80
94Jordan81
95Bahrain81
96Kuwait82
World Avg36.8
q=101.
Corruption (2012-2016)12
Pos.Higher is better
Avg Score12
1Denmark90.8
2New Zealand90.6
3Finland89.4
...
26UAE68.6
27St Lucia68.3
28Estonia68.2
29Qatar67.4
30Bhutan64.2
31Botswana63.0
32Portugal62.8
33Cyprus61.6
World Avg43.05
q=176.
Global Peace Index (2012)9
Pos.Lower is better9
1Iceland1.11
2New Zealand1.24
3Denmark1.24
...
9Finland1.35
10Switzerland1.35
11Belgium1.38
12Qatar1.40
13Czechia1.40
14Sweden1.42
15Germany1.42
16Portugal1.47
World Avg2.02
q=157.

Human Rights Watch Comments (2017)13
Pos.Higher is better
Score13
1UK9
2France9
3Germany9
...
61Papua New Guinea-3
62Belarus-3
63India-3
64Qatar-3
65Tanzania-3
66Ecuador-3
67Colombia-3
68Bolivia-3
World Avg-1.9
q=123.
Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)17
Pos.Higher is better
Treaties17
1Argentina24
2Chile23
3Costa Rica23
...
155Saudi Arabia10
156Laos10
157Solomon Islands10
158Qatar10
159Vatican City10
160India10
161Fiji10
162Vietnam10
World Avg15.1
q=194.
Personal, Civil & Economic Freedom (2014)15
Pos.Lower is better
Rank15
1Hong Kong1
2Switzerland2
3New Zealand3
...
114Kuwait111
115Malaysia115
116Russia115
117Qatar117
118UAE118
119Guinea-Bissau118
120Oman120
121Timor-Leste (E. Timor)120
World Avg79.7
q=159.

Press Freedom (2013)14
Pos.Lower is better14
1Finland638
2Netherlands648
3Norway652
...
106Fiji3269
107Brazil3275
108Bolivia3280
109Qatar3286
110Panama3295
111Montenegro3297
112Israel3297
113UAE3349
World Avg3249
q=178.

Slavery (2018)10
Pos.Lower is better
% Victims10
1Japan0.03
2Canada0.05
3Taiwan0.05
...
12Hong Kong0.14
13Kuwait0.15
14Luxembourg0.15
15Qatar0.15
16Denmark0.16
17Paraguay0.16
18Sweden0.16
19Ireland0.17
World Avg0.65
q=167.

The taking of slaves has been an unwholesome feature of Human cultures since prehistory20. Private households and national endeavours have frequently been augmented with the use of slaves. The Egyptian and Roman empires both thrived on them for both purposes. Aside from labourers they are often abused sexually by their owners and their owners' friends21. The era of colonialism and the beginnings of globalisation changed nothing: the imprisonment and forced movements of labour continued to destroy many lives except that new justifications were invented based on Christian doctrine and the effort to convert non-Christians. By 1786 over 12 million slaves had been extracted from Africa and sent to colonial labour camps, with a truly atrocious condition of life22. But they were not the only ones to blame; in Africa internal nations such as the Asantes sold and bought tens of thousands of slaves23.

The abolition of the slave trade was a long and slow process. Until a relatively modern time, even philosophers, religious leaders and those concerned with ethics justified, or ignored, the problem of slavery24. The first abolitionists were always the slaves themselves. Their protests and rebellions caused the industry to become too expensive to continue. After that, it was the economic costs of maintain slave colonies that led the British to reject and then oppose the slave trade globally. Finally, the enlightenment-era thinkers of France encouraged moral and ethical thinking including the declaration of the inherent value of human life and human dignity25. A long-overdue wave of compassionate and conscientious movements swept across the West, eliminating public support for slavery, until the industries and churches that supported it had no choice but to back down.

'Modern slavery' includes forced labour (often of the under-age), debt bondage (especially generational), sexual slavery, chattel slavery and other forms of abuse, some of which can be surprisingly difficult to detect, but often target those fleeing from warzones and the vulnerable.26. Some industries (diamond, clothing, coal) from some countries (Burundi10, Eritrea10, Indonesia27) are a particular concern. The Walk Free Foundation, say that in 2016, 40.3 million people were living in modern slavery28.

[In 2017] Qatar... ratified Law No.15 on service workers in the home... which will grant labor protections for the first time to Qatar´s 173,742 domestic workers. The new law guarantees domestic workers a maximum 10-hour workday, a weekly rest day, three weeks of annual leave, an end-of-service payment of at least three weeks per year, and healthcare benefits.

However, the new law is still weaker than the Labor Law and does not fully conform to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention, the global treaty on domestic workers´ rights.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)11

Other serious labour protections are missing however, and there may be hundreds of preventable deaths annually as a result of poor labour protection law in the construction industry, especially regarding provisions to prevent heart attacks during the hottest hours of the day11.

2. Gender Equality

#gender #misogyny #politics #Qatar #women

Gender Inequality (2015)16
Pos.Lower is better16
1Switzerland0.04
2Denmark0.04
3Netherlands0.04
...
125India0.53
126Zimbabwe0.54
127Gabon0.54
128Qatar0.54
129Tanzania0.54
130Pakistan0.55
131Ghana0.55
132Lesotho0.55
World Avg0.36
q=159.

Gender inequality is not a necessary part of early human development. Although a separation of roles is almost universal due to different strengths between the genders, this does not have to mean that women are subdued, and, such patriarchialism is not universal in ancient history. Those cultures and peoples who shed, or never developed, the idea that mankind ought to dominate womankind, are better cultures and peoples than those who, even today, cling violently to those mores.

Year Women Can Vote29
Pos.Lower is better
Year29
1New Zealand1893
2Australia1902
3Finland1906
...
182Samoa1990
183Kazakhstan1993
184Moldova1994
185Oman1994
186Qatar2003
187Kuwait2005
188Saudi Arabia0
189Vatican City0
World Avg1930
q=189.

Qatar is an unequal country, with male rights dominating those of women.

Qatar, like many other Islamic countries, "discriminates against women by not allowing them to pass nationality to their children on the same basis as men"11 but in 2017 it partially rectified this by approving a draft law to allow "permanent residence for children of Qatari women married to non-Qataris"11.

Qatar´s Law No. 22 of 2006 on Family and Personal Status continues to discriminate against women. Under article 36, a marriage contract is valid when a woman´s male guardian concludes the contract and two male witnesses are present. Article 58 states that it is a wife´s responsibility to look after the household and to obey her husband.

Other than article 57 of the family law forbidding husbands from hurting their wives physically or morally, and general provisions on assault, the penal code does not criminalize domestic violence or marital rape.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)11

See:

3. LGBT Equality and Tolerance

#equality #homosexuality #human_rights #intolerance #Qatar #sexuality #tolerance

LGBT Equality (2017)19
Pos.Higher is better
Score19
1Netherlands103
2Belgium90
3Sweden86
...
189Libya-42
190Morocco-42
191Solomon Islands-44
192Qatar-54
193Sudan-67
194Saudi Arabia-72
195Somalia-79
196Syria-84
World Avg12.6
q=196.

Discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) folk is rife across the world. Legal restrictions co-exist alongside social stigmatisation and physical violence30. LGBT tolerance and equal rights have been fought for country-by-country across the world, often against tightly entrenched cultural and religious opposition. Adult consensual sexual activity is a Human Right, protected by privacy laws31. Despite this, homosexual activity is outlawed in around 80 countries30. The Social & Moral LGBT Equality Index was created to compare countries and regions, granting points to each country for a variety of factors including how long gay sex has been criminalized and the extent of LGBT legal rights. Graded negative points are given for criminality of homosexuality, unequal ages of consent, legal punishments and for not signing international accords on LGBT tolerance. The signs in many developed countries are positive, and things are gradually improving. Europe is by far the least prejudiced region (Scandinavia in particular being exemplary). The Middle East and then Africa are the least morally developed, where cultural bias goes hand-in-hand with state intolerance, all too often including physical violence.

No form of gay marriage is recognized in Qatar, and, sex outside of marriage is illegal, therefore, Qatar criminalizes homosexuality.

Qatar´s penal code punishes “sodomy” with one to three years in prison. Muslims convicted of zina (sex outside of marriage) can be sentenced to flogging (if unmarried) or the death penalty (if married). Non-Muslims can be sentenced to imprisonment.

"World Report 2018" by Human Rights Watch (2018)11

4. Qatar Overall National and Social Development

#human_development #Qatar

Social & Moral
Development Index
32
Pos.Higher is better
Points32
1Denmark84.0
2Sweden83.9
3Finland83.5
...
65Mongolia56.9
66Mexico56.9
67Trinidad & Tobago56.8
68Qatar56.3
69Panama56.1
70Bosnia & Herzegovina55.9
71Nicaragua55.9
72Uzbekistan55.8
73Seychelles55.4
World Avg53.8
q=198.

The Social and Moral Development Index concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, public health, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism, and on some technological issues. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life.

5. Freedom of Belief and Religion

#islam #qatar #saudi_arabia

Qatar belongs to the same puritanical Wahhabi branch of Islam as Saudi Arabia, its neighbour33 but it (unfairly) only applies its most restrictive religious laws to locals - so they shelve their traditional attire and sneak out en masse in the evening, as the only way of having a free life away from their own opressive law. Some Islamist Qataris are unhappy that Islam is not universally applied33 and if they get their way in the future, the upholding of human rights in Qatar could worsen.

Once-upon-a-time, extremist Wahhabi preachers would go to Qatar if they were unwelcome in Saudi Arabia, "and Osama bin Laden is said to have stopped by"33. But culturally, it is liberal. Although this is because the vast majority of people there are not local, but also because the state permits it.

With the dawn of a new millennium Qatar has entered a different league. [There are] nightclubs on hotel rooftops [...], bars advertise happy hours on its beaches and a state-owned distribution centre supplies not just liqour but pork. [...] Women drive and there are no religious police forcing businesses to shut during prayer times.

The Economist (2016)34

But there is definite unhappiness amongst Qataris about the direction that their country has taken. Traditionally, Islamic law is enforced on all people by the state. But Qatar has now become half-free. One confused cleric in an Islamic Center complains that "we're not an Islamic state" and so says that Muslims like him are oppressed33 - precisely because of the absence of restrictive enforcements. Native Qataris are still banned from bars and liquor stores, and Christian churches cannot display crucifixes and instead have signs that say "Religious Centre"33. So the Cleric has it wrong. Qatar is still a theocracy, and Qataris are still oppressed, by their own religious doctrine. His true complaint is that Islam isn't enforced strictly enough on those who do not want it - Qataris sneak out of their national dress and buy alcohol secretly33, en masse, and he feels powerless to stop them - good!

To end oppression, the state should embrace a more honest, secular outlook, where all are free to adhere to religious restrictions in accordance with their beliefs - the cleric, like all in Qatar, are free to refrain from alcohol in accordance with the Quran. But they should also be free to buy it, when they wish.

Current edition: 2019 Jan 01
http://www.humantruth.info/qatar_human_rights_and_freedom.html
Parent page: Qatar (State of Qatar)

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#antisemitism #burundi #corruption #equality #eritrea #france #freedom #gender #homosexuality #human_development #human_rights #indonesia #intolerance #islam #mass_media #misogyny #peace #politics #Qatar #saudi_arabia #sexuality #slavery #tolerance #women

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See vexen.co.uk/references.html#Economist for some commentary on this source. A newspaper.

Anti-Defamation League. (ADL)
(2014) ADL Global 100, Executive Summary. Accessed on global100.adl.org on 2017 Jan 02. The numbers given are of those who state that racist stereotyped statements about Jews are true; they have to agree to 6 or more of the 11 statements to be counted. An example statements is "Jews are hated because of the way they behave". The data was collected from 53,100 interviews across 101 countries plus the West Bank and Gaza. The global average is 26%.

Casely-Hayford, Gus
(2012) The Lost Kingdoms of Africa. Published by Bantram Press. A hardback book.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2019) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2019). Accessed 2019 Jan 13.

Donnelly, Jack
(2013) Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice. 3rd edition. Published by Cornell University Press.

The Fraser Institute
(2016) The Human Freedom Index. Published by The Cato Institute, The Fraser Institute and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Covers data up to 2014. On www.fraserinstitute.org/.../human-freedom-index-2016.

Human Rights Watch
(2018) World Report 2018. Covering the events of 2017.

Klein, Naomi
(2004) No Logo. Originally published 2000, HarperCollins, London, UK. A paperback book.

McCall, Andrew
(1979) The Medieval Underworld. 2004 edition. Published by Sutton Publishing. A paperback book.

Thomson, Oliver
(1993) A History of Sin. Published by Canongate Press. A hardback book.

United Nations
(2011) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. This edition had the theme of Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All. Available on hdr.undp.org/... UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Published by the UN Development Programme. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/.

Walk Free Foundation
(2018) Global Slavery Index. Published on www.walkfreefoundation.org/.

Footnotes

  1. World Bank data on data.worldbank.org accessed 2013 Nov 04.^
  2. UN (2011) .^
  3. UN (2017). Table 1.^
  4. UN (2017). Gross National Income, per person. Table 1.^
  5. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on www.iso.org, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  6. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on www.iana.org.^
  7. According to ISO4217.^
  8. According to ITU-T.^
  9. ^^
  10. Walk Free Foundation (2018) .^^
  11. Human Rights Watch (2018). p436-439.^^^^
  12. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (2017). Accessed 2017 Dec 30. The scores given are the TI average for the years 2012-2016.^^
  13. Human Rights Watch (2018). Negative and positive comments have been added to create a score for each country covered in the report.^^
  14. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^^
  15. Fraser Institute, the (2016). Covers data for 2014.^^
  16. UN (2017). Table 5. Lower is better.^^
  17. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^^
  18. ADL (2014). Lower is better.^^
  19. Sources:^^
  20. Thomson (1993). p28.^
  21. McCall (1979). p180.^
  22. Thomson (1993). p166.^
  23. Casely-Hayford (2012). p253.^
  24. Thomson (1993). p31.^
  25. Thomson (1993). p199.^
  26. Thomson (1993). p28-29.^
  27. Klein (2004) .^
  28. Walk Free Foundation (2018). p2.^
  29. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  30. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p278.^
  31. Donnelly (2013). Chapter 16 "Nondiscrimination for All: The Case of Sexual Minorities" p289. According to a 1992 ruling of the Human Rights Committee, which declared that 'it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of privacy' when discussing Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. See Human Rights Committee, Communication 488/1992, paragraph 8.2.^
  32. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  33. The Economist. Article "Qatar: The other Wahhabi state" p51.^
  34. The Economist (2016 Jun 04) Article "Qatar: The other Wahhabi state" p51.^

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