Sponsorship system must go, says NSHR

Updated 26 April 2013

Sponsorship system must go, says NSHR

The National Society for Human Rights has called for scrapping the sponsorship (kafeel) system in the Kingdom and limiting the relationship between the employer and the worker to the contract only. This means the worker can change his employer once his contract is terminated.
Mufleh Al-Qahtani, president of NSHR, said in his report to the regular meeting of the society that the inspection campaign by the Labor Ministry created disturbance in the labor market. He said the campaign came at a time when there are not enough detention centers for the illegal workers and the available ones don’t meet the requirements of human rights.
NSHR member Abdul Rahman Al-Haijan said: “There should be amendment to the ministry’s by-law to prevent it from entering any company without a prior notice,” Al-Haijan said.
“Some activities, establishments and services closed down completely,” Al-Qahtani said, adding: “We received complaints in this regard and we visited some of the affected projects in Riyadh.”
He said some of the positive aspects of the decision include regulating the labor market, reducing the security and social danger by correcting the expatriates’ situations, allowing expatriates who did not get their iqama renewed to shift the sponsorship to another employer without the approval of the previous employer and creating more jobs for Saudis.
“But the sudden enforcement of the decision will result in increase in the manpower cost which will, of course, increase prices. It will also delay the deadlines for infrastructure projects. The ministry did not give enough time for companies before conducting its campaign.”

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.