RIYADH: The President of the Human Rights Commission Awad Al-Awad has affirmed that sexual harassment against children constitutes a grave violation of their rights and is a perverted practice criminalized by Islamic law and international law.
He called for intensified efforts and joint action at the family, community and institutional levels to enhance awareness of its risks and negative impacts. This came in a speech yesterday during a workshop organized by the commission in Riyadh, with the participation of a number of relevant authorities, civil society institutions and specialists.
Al-Awad stressed that the Kingdom has made great progress at the international level in the protection of childhood. He added that Saudi Arabia has taken many measures to strengthen the relevant regulatory and institutional frameworks.
Dr. Nadia Nusair, a family psychological counsellor, said: “Sexual harassment is a worldwide phenomenon that exists in both Arab and Western countries, but with different scales in each country.”
Psychological analysis of offenders shows that they tend to be unstable and psychopathic.
The harasser is usually a family member or a person who is well-known to the child.
Al-Awad stressed the need to work in line with the state’s policies related to child protection.
He added that the commission aimed, through the workshop, to find new mechanisms to confront child abuse.
The commission aims to achieve an effective partnership between government agencies and civil society institutions that deal with children.
It is also developing a joint action plan and new tools to report harassment.
The commission is looking to improve the quality of assistance and support provided to victims’ families in the legal, psychological and medical experience, as well as finding the right means to reintegrate victims into schools.