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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and as a sentence for crime.
Overview of the child rights situation

There is little to get excited about in Qatar's concluding observations. There is much gender-based discrimination and violence is used as a punishment for under 18-year-olds. No statement is made about the health system, but adolescent health is discussed.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee recognizes that the State party has initiated steps to expand education for girls, improve their safety and protect them against violence, but remains deeply concerned that they continue to be subject to multiple gender-based discrimination from the earliest stages of life, and throughout childhood and adolescence due to the persistence of adverse and traditional attitudes and norms, and that no systematic efforts have been undertaken, including with religious leaders, opinion makers, and the mass media, to combat and change discriminatory attitudes and practices. The Committee urges the State party to establish a comprehensive domestic violence protection system and adopt specific legislation to criminalize all forms of violence against women and girls, including domestic violence and marital rape, with no exceptions and within a clear time frame.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee recommends that the State party continue to promote a human rights-based approach to disability, paying particular attention to girls with disabilities and children with disabilities living outside of the city, and continue to collect disaggregated data on children with disabilities and develop an efficient system for diagnosing disability, which is necessary for putting in place appropriate policies and programmes for children with disabilities. Also, Qatar should strengthen its measures to ensure that children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes.
The Committee further recommends to allocate resources from segregated educational settings towards quality, inclusive education with the provision of reasonable accommodation and individual support, accessible environments and curricula, for all students with disabilities in mainstream schools. It further recommends to establish mandatory in-service training of all teachers and staff in education facilities on quality, inclusive education as well as train and assign specialized teachers and professionals to work in inclusive classes, providing individual support and assistance to children with learning difficulties.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenWhile noting the State party’s efforts to ensure that Syrian children have access to basic education, and commending the enhanced measures for facilitating the issuance of civil and birth registration documents to ensure that every child born in the State party is able to obtain a birth certificate, the Committee recommends that the State party improve coordination between governmental and semi-governmental institutions dealing with children’s rights and enhance cooperation with UNHCR by signing a memorandum of understanding.Concerning children in situations of migration, the Committee is seriously concerned at the practice of detention or imprisonment of migrant women with children in immigration detention facilities pending deportation. The Committee urges the State party to refrain from holding children and families with children in immigration detention facilities in line with the principles of the best interests of the child and of family unity, to systematically employ non-custodial measures rather than detention, and to establish shelters for those categories of migrants.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

To guarantee every child the right to the highest attainable standard of health, the Committee recommends that the State party decriminalize abortion in all circumstances and ensure access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services for adolescent girls, making sure that their views are always heard and given due consideration as a part of the decision-making process. Qatar should also adopt a comprehensive policy on sexual and reproductive health for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum, targets adolescent girls and boys and focuses in particular on the prevention of early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The Committee further recommends to address the incidence of drug use by children and adolescents by, inter alia, providing children and adolescents with accurate and objective information as well as life skills education on preventing substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol abuse, and develop accessible and youth-friendly drug-dependence treatment and harm-reduction services. Additionally, it recommends that the State Party strengthen its efforts to combat child obesity by regulating the marketing of unhealthy food, especially when such marketing targets children, and regulate the availability of such food in schools and other places.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee recommends to develop community-based mental-health services and strengthen preventive work in schools, the home and care centres.

Business sector

The Committee urges the State party to ensure the effective implementation of legislation prohibiting the recruitment of children as domestic workers and to take measures to ensure that those who exploit children as domestic workers are held accountable.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee notes the information provided by the State party on the ongoing review of its juvenile justice system. However, it remains deeply concerned that sentences of life imprisonment, hard labour and flogging may be handed down for a number of offences committed by children over 16 years of age and that no children’s court has been established.
The Committee urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards. In particular, it urges the State party to repeal all domestic legal provisions providing for life imprisonment, hard labour and flogging for offences committed by persons under the age of 18 years and establish a children’s court. Also, Qatar should ensure the provision of qualified and independent legal counsel to children in conflict with the law at an early stage of the procedure and throughout the legal proceedings. In cases where detention is unavoidable, Qatar should ensure that children are held separately from adults and that detention conditions are in line with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned about the impact of the situation of migrant workers, in particular female domestic workers, on the right of their children in their home countries to a family environment, particularly the fact that the sponsorship system imposed on those workers results in slavery-like working conditions, and that the confiscation of their passports and de facto restrictions on their freedom of movement limit their ability to return to their home countries, thus depriving their children of a family environment.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 22 June 2017.
More information: World Data on education Qatar

Last Updated (date)16th of February, 2022