FNC sets up Committee on Human Rights

The Federal National Council (FNC) approved the setting up of a permanent committee on human rights to discuss relevant legislations and reinforce the UAE's domestic and international efforts.

The approval was made during FNC's 15th legislative chapter which started on 15 November 2012 and continued to 22 January with the sixth meeting of the Second Ordinary Session.

FNC said the importance of this committee stems from the international and regional conventions ratified by the UAE, including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) of 1974, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) as well as six agreements with the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam (CDHRI), declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo, Egypt, in 1990, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at the Arab Summit in Tunisia in 2004.

The approval of setting up the committee came during discussions of a question on the European Parliament's resolution last year on the human rights situation in the United Arab Emirates.

FNC discussed 59 questions to representatives of the government and made 11 recommendations on areas and issues directly related to services provided to nationals, including healthcare, education, economy, security, infrastructure, emiratization, salaries, pensions, loans and social issues.

Members demanded the implementation of minimum standards of decency, respect to the national traditions and customs in public places.

The Council approved a recommendation on issuing a relevant federal law on decency in public places to explain individual freedoms and to set proper punishments for violations.

The recommendation seeks to preserve the national traditions and values of the UAE society.

Other questions addressed the non-compliance of banks to personal loan legislations which state that the lenders may not deduct more than a quarter of the monthly basic salary or pension of the borrower to pay off the debt.

The members demanded that the Central Bank oblige all banks operating in the country to observe the relevant agreements on personal loans and to set a ceiling for interest rates on personal and commercial loans.

The setting up of a temporary committee to consider the issue was approved by FNC along with recommendations on a fixed interest rate ceiling.

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