RIYADH: WALAA HAWARI | ARAB NEWS STAFF
Published — Monday 4 June 2012
Last update 4 June 2012 4:45 am
The National Society for Human Rights says that the Kingdom needs to continue monitoring poverty in the cities and rural areas.
The 2012 report is the society's third, according to NSHR Chairman Moflih Al-Qahtani.
“The society issues periodical reports on the conditions of human rights in the Kingdom, in accordance with international standards,” he said, adding the report is a continuation of the previous two.
The report, titled “Ambition of leadership…weak bodies’ performance,” reviews the shortcomings and inefficiency of official bodies with regard to development projects.
The report reviewed poverty in cities and rural neighborhoods and the need to ensure the poor and needy have adequate accommodation and social security services and their children access to higher education.
Al-Qahtani pointed out the recommendations in the report were presented to the relevant officials and bodies and will also be put forward to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, for review.
“In the past the recommendations we put forward were highly valued by officials and committees were formed to study them and apply them where possible,” said Al-Qahtani.
The report’s recommendations include establishing a higher council to monitor execution of projects and follow them up and the majority of its members should be heads of regulating bodies in the Kingdom. The council should have the power to tackle delays, poor implementation and grossly inflated prices of these projects.
The NSHR also wanted the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution and the Human Rights Commission given wider powers to monitor investigations and arrests.
The report stressed the importance of constant training of judges and solving issues related to nationality, identification papers, medical treatment, education, transportation and other human rights issues.
The report covered topics such as marriages, civil status, family, consumers, corruption, child marriages and elections.
“Any report on human rights issued by any country is reflective of that particular nation’s human rights record. Our report is in support of the Kingdom’s efforts worldwide to sustain its positive image among international human rights organizations,” said the NSHR chairman.
In order for official bodies to be able to address their shortcomings and meet and protect individual rights, the report demands the Kingdom complete procedures to join two international treaties related to civil and political rights and social, cultural and economic rights. The Kingdom, according to the report, should establish a name-and-shame policy to publicize officials or official bodies that fail to implement judicial decisions against them.
The NSHR cooperates with the HRC, said Al-Qahtani, but as an independent NGO the society acts within a framework of transparency. He added the report is expected to generate a positive reaction with regard to the Kingdom’s human rights reputation in international society.
“Yet our main concern is to work toward improving human rights domestically,” said Al-Qahtani.