Firms use visually impaired to meet Saudization quota

Updated 03 May 2014

Firms use visually impaired to meet Saudization quota

Unscrupulous employers are using citizens with visual disabilities to hike their Saudization quotas by either employing them without their knowledge, or for a pittance.
Mohammed Al-Shwimman, director of the Kafif Charity Society, revealed this on Thursday at a press conference to announce job creation initiatives for people with visual disabilities in the country.
Al-Shwimman said many people with visual disabilities are employed but do not receive salaries. He said many others have resigned from their jobs because their employers have failed to provide them with adequate work environments.
He said the charity is currently setting up a database of people with visual disability in the country to check on their employment status.
The Ministry of Labor counts a special needs employee as four Saudis toward Saudization quotas. Once companies make the quota, they are allowed to employ foreigners. However, many companies employ these people with minimal salaries to stay at home.
Nasser bin Ali Al-Musa, chairman of the Kafif society and a member of the Shoura Council, confirmed that many companies are involved in these illegal practices. This is taking place because many employers believe that people with visual disabilities are unable to work.
According to government statistics released in 2013, the majority of the Kingdom’s 375,795 registered persons with disabilities are neglected and often exploited.
According to reports, there is a lack of coordination between the Ministries of Labor and Social Affairs, and the private sector, to help these people.
There is no governing body for such people, which means an absence of classifications on the exact nature of their disabilities. There are also no records kept of their personal skills and abilities.
In addition, with no laws to protect them from exploitation in the workplace, people with disabilities are often deprived of promotions and other benefits regardless of their educational qualifications or job performance.
It was found that once employers use them to meet Saudization quotas they neglect them or force them to resign.

PWD-friendly infrastructure rebuilds completed in Two Holy Cities, Saudi Arabia tells UN

Updated 22 March 2019

PWD-friendly infrastructure rebuilds completed in Two Holy Cities, Saudi Arabia tells UN

  • Infrastructure upgrades included public transport facilities
  • Centers for disability rehabilitation are growing across the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Major infrastructure rebuilds to aid disabled people have been completed in Makkah and Madinah, the United Nations heard on Thursday.

Dr. Bandar Al-Aiban, president of the Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC), made the announcement in Geneva during the 21st session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

He said that the move came as part of a wider range of programs aimed at empowering the disabled in Saudi Arabia, to provide them with a suitable education, tools and the employment opportunities to ensure their independence and maintain a good quality of life. 

He added that the infrastructure updates included public transport facilities that were disability friendly, and easy access to government buildings and important historical and religious sites across the two cities.

“The Saudi government is keen to serve the Two Holy Mosques and other holy sites, and harness the necessary resources to serve pilgrims, and this includes the completion of major infrastructure targets that take into account the needs of people with disabilities,” Al-Aiban said.

“The government’s financial support for associations and NGOs for people with disabilities amounted to more than SR70 million ($18.7 million) in 2018. People with disabilities are also members of the Shoura Council, and hold leadership positions in various sectors. 

He also mentioned the recent establishment of the Saudi Commission for Persons with Disabilities and Special Needs, noting the growing number of centers for disability rehabilitation across the country, and the exemplary standards they set for disabled services in the Gulf.