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2 Dec 2019

Qatar: UN expert on racism highlights discrimination, "stereotyping" and "profiling" of migrant workers

E Tendayi Achiume, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, conducted a country visit to Qatar 21st November - 1st December 2019. The Special Rapporteur's report was published in April 2020 and can be read in full below.

During the mission Achiume met with government officials to learn about the country's approach to tackling racism in policy and practice. She also met with civil society organisations, academics and representatives of ethnic and religious minorities who have experienced racial abuse, including migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and women.

Although Achiume did acknowledge the "significant reforms the government has embarked on that stand to make important contributions to combatting structural racial discrimination", her report also highlights the structural racism facing minorities. It particularly explores the abuse facing migrant workers from Asia and Africa.

Reports of racial profiling in the country reflect the unequal access and enjoyment of rights between Qataris and long-term migrant workers, Achiume said. She found racism also manifested itself practically, describing how African and Asian people face challenges to accessing public spaces such as shopping centres, for example, as opposed to Arab and white people.