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Shoura panel calls for protection of minors’ rights

Members study a report during a regular session of the Shoura Council on Wednesday. (SPA)
RIYADH: A Shoura Council panel has called for the introduction of amendments to some regulations which will allow the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to undertake guardianships of those unable to care for themselves, or protect their rights, notably the minors of unknown parents, or the handicapped who have been abandoned by their guardians.
This recommendation was contained in a report presented by the Committee of Social Affairs, Family and Youth during the 9th ordinary session of the Shoura Council here on Wednesday.
According to the committee, the amendments will empower the ministry to protect minors or the handicapped exposed to physical or psychological assaults and seek social, health or educational rights for them.
Following discussion on the report, many members favored the amendments for protection of those who cannot take care of themselves.
One member, wanted a specific department within the Ministry of Labor and Social Development that will undertake the guardianship of these minors and handicapped.
Meanwhile, Shoura members expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by the Ministry of the National Guard in cooperation with other security organs in protecting the security of the Kingdom. The members were commenting on the efforts and missions of the Ministry of the National Guard in a report which was presented by the Committee on Security Affairs.
Later, the council listened to a report presented by the Committee of Haj, Housing and Services, in which it recommended the Ministry of Haj and Umrah to coordinate with other concerned parties to lay down a job structure for field services. The committee also asked the ministry to coordinate with the Development Authority of Makkah and the Holy Sites to develop infrastructure in the holy sites (Mina, Muzdalaifah, and Arafat) in accordance with the comprehensive plan for the development of the holy sites.
Commenting on the report, one member proposed the introduction of smart applications to explain Haj and Umrah rituals, while another called for opening Haj and Umrah missions in Saudi embassies abroad in light of the increasing number of Hajis and Umrah performers. A third member called for construction of vertical buildings in Mina to accommodate more Hajis and minimize unauthorized camping at that holy site. Another member noted the absence of the Ministry of Haj’s works and media throughout the year except for the season.
Shoura Council members later listened to a report presented by the Committee of Water, Agriculture and Environment on the annual report of the Ministry of Water and Agriculture. The committee, among other recommendations, stressed the application of the total management program to combat the red palm weevil, the activation of the royal decree on the King Abdullah Initiative on agricultural investments abroad, as well as the safe use of pesticides in agricultural production.
Commenting on the report, one member asked for the establishment of a national plan for combating red palm weevil, while another called for focusing on water research and minimizing costs of water desalination using clean energy.

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