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Saudi Arabia guarantees rights of disabled

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JEDDAH: The Kingdom confirmed its national commitment to the development of national systems and processes that will ensure and protect the human rights of people with disabilities.

During the current eighth session of the conference of states that are parties to the Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CPRD), Ahmad bin Saleh Al-Saif, member of the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) and supervisor of the Unit of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, spoke about the Kingdom’s efforts and progress in implementing the provisions of the CPRD.

“No society can be complete or develop sustainably without guaranteeing the rights of people with disabilities and ensuring their equal participation in all economic, social, political and cultural aspects of society,” he said. “This is a moral and international responsibility, and I am honored to be here to exchange the Kingdom’s knowledge and experience in this regard.”

He said the Kingdom has taken concrete steps to promote the rights of persons with disabilities since its adoption of the CPRD in 2008, including the establishment of a specialized committee at the Ministry of Social Affairs consisting of members of government agencies, civil society organizations and people with disabilities to coordinate and oversee implementation of all human rights, services, and activities for disabled people as per the provisions of the CPRD.

In 2014, the Kingdom also established a high ministerial committee to study the status of people with disabilities in the Kingdom, and put forward a number of recommendations to ensure their rights are guaranteed in society, he explained.

“A committee was established at the Committee of Experts at the Council of Ministers, consisting of experts, members of the judiciary and representatives of specialized agencies to review all laws and regulations concerning people with disabilities, and to ensure their provisions guarantee delivery and protection of their rights in line with modern requirements,” explained Al-Saif.

He said the committee at the Ministry of Social Affairs has also worked on advising the Ministry of Economy and Planning on taking necessary measures to incorporate the rights of persons with disabilities in all development plans, and to ensure all initiatives include necessary standards to allow for their inclusion in society.

“Furthermore, media and awareness campaigns based on a human rights framework have been established to promote awareness and acceptance of people with human rights as equal members of society, as well as to assist disabled citizens in becoming more active members in society.”


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