Saudi Human Rights official praises the Kingdom’s progress

February 7, 2009

Vice-President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission Zeid Al-Hussein hailed the advances made by the Kingdom in the area of human rights during a speech at the fourth session of the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group in Geneva, Switzerland.


While acknowledging that there are some human rights violations occurring in the Kingdom attributable to individual practices, Al-Hussein insisted that great efforts have been made to bolster the rights of children and women in society. He noted that women’s awareness of their rights has been considerably increased in recent years through social development centers, women’s associations and the National Society for Human Rights.

The Kingdom has also sought to achieve a balance between the requirements of the campaign against terrorism and the need to respect human rights, said Al-Hussein. By the end of 2008, about $100 million in compensation had been paid to people detained in terrorist cases who were later found to be innocent.

Regarding human trafficking, Al-Hussein acknowledged that Saudi Arabia, like other states, is not exempt from the problem. However, the Saudi government is taking rigorous measures to combat such violations and has conducted numerous symposia and training courses in collaboration with local and international bodies.

Saudi Arabia is committed to a program of promoting human rights, Al-Hussein concluded, noting that there are more than 1,000 civil society institutions concerned with issues relating to the protection of human rights in the Kingdom.

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