The Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) of Qatar have signed an agreement they say will ensure the protection of migrant workers’ rights.

On Wednesday, CHR chairperson Jose Luis Gascon and NHRC president Dr Ali Al Marri signed the agreement that covers 10 areas of cooperation, including a protection mechanism for Filipino workers in the handling and referring of their cases to proper institutions, ABS-CBN News reported.

Gascon said with the agreement, more than 250,000 Filipino migrant workers in Qatar can now raise their concerns to the NHRC aside from reaching out to the Philippine Embassy in Doha.

“This agreement is a significant milestone in the efforts towards human rights protection. We might be able to explore ways of cooperation so that both committees will be able to advance our respective mandates,” Gascon said.

Al Marri said the NHRC had its own legal department and could assist migrant workers with their complaints and connect them to other government agencies in Qatar.

“Migrant workers can come directly to us. When we receive complaints, we directly contact the company or with the ministry, then we take action to support or help them solve the problem, Al Marri said.

Under the agreement, the Philippines also pledged the protection of the rights of Qatari nationals in the Philippines.