Qatar: Asylum procedures for Palestinians in Qatar; situation of Palestinian workers in Qatar (permit requirement, difficulty in obtaining such permit and discrimination)
|Publisher||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||1 March 1990|
|Citation / Document Symbol||QAT4935|
|Cite as||Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Qatar: Asylum procedures for Palestinians in Qatar; situation of Palestinian workers in Qatar (permit requirement, difficulty in obtaining such permit and discrimination), 1 March 1990, QAT4935, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ace48.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
According to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1989 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, February 1990) section on Qatar attached to this response, p. 1545:
"[t]he government [of Qatar] has no formal policy on refugees. Those attempting to enter illegally, including defectors from nearby countries, are refused entry. Refugees who can obtain local sponsorship or employment will be allowed to enter. However, if they leave jobs, they are expected to leave or face deportation."
The UNHCR office in Ottawa stated that the UNHCR has no office or representative in Qatar, and is therefore unable to provide current information on asylum procedures or the situation of asylum seekers in that country.
Information on the particular situation of Palestinian asylum seekers or workers in Qatar could not be found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC.
For information on the situation of foreigners, particularly foreign workers, in Qatar please find attached a copy of the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1989 section on Qatar and of pages 11-16 of Migrant Workers in the Gulf (London: Minority Rights Group Ltd., 1985).
According to the Palestinian Information Office in Ottawa (as communicated by telephone on 2 April 1990) Palestinian workers face a situation similar to that of other foreign workers in Qatar and other "Gulf States" or countries of the region: contracts for working in Qatar are hard to obtain and keep, requiring a local contractor or sponsor who can cancel the contract arbitrarily at any time. The source added that a working contract with a local contractor or sponsor is required to obtain a working visa, but such a visa would not allow a person to remain once the contract is expired or revoked. The Palestinian Information Office in Ottawa was not aware of any particular treatment or discrimination against Palestinian workers other than that given to foreign workers in general and reported in the documents attached. The government of Qatar reportedly started in 1980 a policy of promoting employment of Qatar nationals instead of foreigners in all sectors of the economy, particularly those considered economic key posts. ["Les Lieux de L'identité des Al Na`Im de Qatar", in Monde Arabe: Maghreb Machrek (Paris: La Documentation Française, January- March 1989), p. 140.]
The most recent written reference to relations between Palestinians and Qatar found among the sources currently available to the IRBDC stated that a week of solidarity with Palestinians in the Occupied Territories started in Qatar on 17 October 1988, with Yasser Arafat visiting the country on 25 November of that year. [ "Chronologie", Ibid, April-June 1989, p. 91.]