HRC chief highlights historic human rights reforms
Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Dr. Hala Al-Tuwaijri and European Union Special Representative for Human Rights Eamon Gilmore co-chaired the second session of the joint human rights dialogue between Saudi Arabia and EU here on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Al-Tuwaijri said that the Kingdom, in light of its ambitious Vision 2030, is witnessing major historic reforms in the field of human rights. “Emanating from its solid and sublime values, and in implementation of its national and international obligations, the Kingdom has worked to develop its legislative system by reviewing and issuing many legislations, including the legislation announced by Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman. The Kingdom is keen on promoting and protecting human rights at all phases,” she said while citing examples of introducing a law to protect the rights of the elderly citizens, and the Personal Data Protection Law, which is one of the components of the legal framework to protect the right to privacy.
Dr. Al-Tuwaijri noted that Saudi Arabia has taken many measures aimed at achieving the best levels in combating trafficking in persons. She also highlighted the developments that have been made in the field of women’s rights in the Kingdom, including legislative, judicial, procedural, administrative, and other aspects. “The empowerment and involvement of Saudi women included assuming leadership positions and decision-making positions, and their involvement as an essential and active element in the judicial, legal, military, security, and diplomatic fields.”
The HRC chief noted that women play an important role in several councils, such as the Shoura Council, in which women represent 20 percent of its members, and the Council of the Human Rights Commission, in which women constitute 50 percent of its members. “With regard to the rights of the child, the national policy to prevent child labor was issued with the aim of providing a safe environment that supports childhood to realize a society where children enjoy all their rights.” She also drew attention to the initiative of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to protect children from the growing cyber threats targeting them.
“ The Kingdom is committed to providing a sound environment and meeting the increasing challenges of climate change. In this context, Green Saudi Arabia and the Green Middle East initiatives were launched as part of the Kingdom’s efforts to strengthen its regional and international partnership in confronting and overcoming environmental challenges,” she added.
In his speech, Gilmore praised the successful mediation of the Crown Prince to secure the release of 10 foreign prisoners from Russia. He lauded the progress made by the Kingdom in the field of human rights, explaining that cooperation with the Kingdom right now is better than before in many areas.
Gilmore hailed the Kingdom’s positive interaction in the joint dialogue session between the Kingdom and the European Union, and the reforms achieved in the field of human rights in the Kingdom, especially in the field of women’s rights, including the percentage of women in the labor market.
The meeting was attended by Saudi Ambassador to the European Union Saad Al-Areefi, a number of HRC members, while the European Union officials, included its Ambassador to the Kingdom Patrick Simonet, Head of the EU Human Rights Department Louisa Rager and a number of representatives of the missions of the European Union countries accredited to the Kingdom.