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GCC Blockade violation of Human Rights

Qatar has been trying its best to keep people unaffected by the ongoing blockade imposed by Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. It has also been appreciated for the same internationally. But it would be closing eyes to the reality if we deny that it has affected people residing in the country greatly.

The report issued by United National Office of High Commissioner for Human rights (OHCHR), following its November mission testifies the same. The mission held from November 17 to 24 at OHCHR included meetings with some 20 governments, civil societies as well as people affected by the blockade with the objective of understanding the scenario.

A copy of the report issued by OHCHR was sent to the National Human Rights Committee of Qatar (NHCR). As per the declaration made in context to the report by head of NHRC, Ali Bin Smaikh al-Marri yesterday, stated that the report serves as a documented proof that GCC blockade is not just unethical and arbitrary but also illegal as it is clear infringement of the human rights.

He stated that “This report shows without a spec of doubt that these procedures undertaken by blockading countries are not merely diplomatic severing of relations, they are not just an economic boycott,” in fact, “These are unilateral, abusive, arbitrary measures that are impacting citizens and expats in Qatar.”

The disclosures made referring to the OHCHR report clearly suggested the measures taken to impose blockade are much more than a diplomatic tension but a well-planned economic warfare led by Saudi-Arabia. To meet their selfish rivalry they have staked the life of not only Qatari citizens but also expats from various countries residing in Qatar.

People in Doha celebrated the report as a victory of human rights of the people residing in the country as this may prove as an official recognition of injustice that they have experienced for several months, by United Nations institution.

Despite recognition by Amnesty International earlier in June 2017, accusing Gulf States toying with lives of people there have not been paid much heed by the GCC countries. Hopefully this report will bring an end to their arbitrary agendas and the ongoing injustice on the people residing in Qatar.




UN chief, several world leaders travel to Qatar for Doha Forum

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will be in Qatar today to deliver a speech at the opening of the Doha Forum, a three-day conference at the Sheraton that’s expected to attract dozens of leaders and government ministers from around the world.

Development and free trade are expected to be on the agenda, QNA reported. The large number of expected VIP delegations mean motorists can likely expect temporary road closures during the conference, which runs from today to May 23.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Axel Drainville/Flick

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar has retained its top position among Arab countries in the latest edition of the United Nations’ Human Development Report, a distinction it has held for at least the past three years.

Overall, Qatar came in 32nd place – tied with Cyprus – out of 188 countries in the UN’s 2015 report, which examines states’ achievements and progress in dozens of criteria including work and employment, education, health, the environment and human security.

According to the index, which was published yesterday, Qatar dropped one place in terms of the rankings, but its overall score of 0.850 was fractionally higher.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Other factors that influence the rankings are the well-being and richness of people’s lives, based on the opportunities and choices they have.

The main index scores and ranks countries according to life expectancy at birth, expected and mean years of schooling as well as gross national income (GNI) per capita.

UN HDR 2015 excerpt


UN HDR 2015 excerpt

Classified by the UN as being a state with “very high human development,” Qatar’s total human development index (HDI) score has increased from 0.729 in 1980 to 0.850 in 2014 – a rise of 16.6 percent or an average annual increase of about 0.45 percent.

This is due to Qatar improving across the main scoring categories over the 35 years:

  • Life expectancy at birth increased by 5.6 years;
  • Mean years of schooling increased by 4.7 years; and
  • Expected years of schooling increased by 1.9 years.

Regional lead

Meanwhile, Qatar widened its lead in terms of the global ranking position from its Gulf neighbors, almost all of which dropped compared to the previous year.

Trends for key Arab states


Trends for key Arab states

Saudi Arabia came in second place among GCC states in 39th (down from 34th in 2014). It was followed by the UAE in 41st (40th in 2014), Bahrain in 45th (33rd last year) and Kuwait in 48th place (down from 36th).

Oman held the same position as last year, coming in at 52nd in the main table.

Globally, the list of top-ranked nations remains mostly unchanged from last year. Norway retained the top spot, followed by Australia and Switzerland. The United States came in 8th place, and the UK in 14th position.

While Qatar’s score of 0.850 is below the average of 0.896 for countries in the very high human development group, it is above average (0.686) for countries in the Arab states, the UN said.

Internal issues

While Qatar’s score on the main table is high, it dropped significantly in the rankings of some domestic issues such as the gender inequality index, where it now ranks 116th out of 155 states.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar Chamber's official websits

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Despite a high percentage of females in Qatar with a secondary education (66.7 percent, compared to 59 percent of males), it scored poorly for its very low number of women holding parliamentary seats (0.1 percent).

Its position was also pulled down for its labor force participation score, with only half of women aged 15 years recorded as working, compared to 95.5 percent of men.

However, residents of Qatar have a strong sense of well-being, according to figures in the UN report, which examined satisfaction with healthcare and education, as well as their perceptions of safety and standard of living.

Qatar’s overall live-satisfaction score was 6.4 out of 10 (with 10 being the most satisfied). Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents said they were satisfied with the quality of education, 90 percent with healthcare, 86 percent with standard of living and 92 percent said they felt safe in the country.

Just under three-quarters (73 percent) of those who took part said they were in their ideal job – compared to 85 percent in top-of-the-table Norway and 61 percent in Saudi Arabia.

You can see a full version of the report here, and Qatar-specific details here.