Saudi laws guarantee ‘secure environment’ for children

Saudi laws guarantee ‘secure environment’ for children

(RAHNUMA) : On the occasion of World Children’s Day, celebrated each year on Nov. 20, Saudi Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Ahmed Al-Rajhi noted the joint efforts of the ministry and governmental and private entities to promote the rights, protection and welfare of children and to enable them to achieve their aspirations, develop their capabilities, and ensure a brighter future for the nation.

President of the National Society for Human Rights Khalid bin Abdurrahman Al-Fakhri affirmed that Saudi Arabian law guarantees a secure environment for children, citing rights established both in Shariah and in international agreements to which the Kingdom has become a party. He said that a law has been enacted to combat the abuse and neglect of minors.

Al-Rajhi highlighted that the Kingdom’s efforts in the field of child protection are based on intrinsic principles, values and legislation that preserve their rights.

He also noted the significance of the existing national alignment in terms of education, healthcare and justice to protect children through the programs and initiatives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

Al-Rajhi highlighted some of the Kingdom’s most prominent efforts in this respect, which include international cooperation to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was ratified by Saudi Arabia in 1995; the approval of the Child Protection System to safeguard against all forms of abuse and negligence that children might be exposed to; the implementation of the National Policy to Prevent Child Labor; and the criminalization of child harassment and exposing children to inappropriate content.

He stressed the importance of embracing orphans and children with special needs and providing the required care for children with disabilities in partnership with the community.

Al-Rajhi also called for domestic violence to be addressed, noting the availability of the hotline 1919 to report all forms of domestic violence, as well as the child support line 116111, provided by the Family Safety Program.

Al-Fakhri said that “certain behaviors that involve children should be avoided because they constitute abuse or neglect of the child. These behaviors include interfering with the child’s education, mistreating him, harassing him, or exposing him to exploitation.

“They also include using demeaning language that diminishes the child’s dignity, treating him unfairly for any reason, or bullying him.”

He added: “There is no doubt that the Kingdom’s special system for children has contributed to the preservation and constancy of children’s rights. The issue calls for the relevant executive authorities to step up awareness campaigns aimed at children and those who work with them.

“By delivering messages about children’s rights in a way that speaks to their minds and age group, spreading awareness of children’s rights also helps youngsters become more conscious of their rights.

“In order to nurture the child in a secure and healthy atmosphere, it is also necessary to concentrate on monitoring any crimes committed against the child.”

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