Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure

Special Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure
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The symposium, titled Enhancing Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Persons, drew attendees from a variety of fields to review anti-human trafficking policies. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
Special Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure
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The symposium, titled Enhancing Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Persons, drew attendees from a variety of fields to review anti-human trafficking policies. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
Special Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure
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The symposium, titled Enhancing Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Persons, drew attendees from a variety of fields to review anti-human trafficking policies. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
Special Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure
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The symposium, titled Enhancing Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Persons, drew attendees from a variety of fields to review anti-human trafficking policies. (AN Photo/Abdulrahman Shalhoub)
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Updated 24 April 2024
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Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure

Experts discuss Saudi Arabia’s latest anti-trafficking measure
  • Symposium raised awareness of common patterns and recent developments in human trafficking, along with effective means of protection and prevention
  • Human trafficking encompasses sex trafficking, forced labor and domestic servitude, often involving women and children

RIYADH: Experts discussed Saudi Arabia’s latest efforts to combat human trafficking at an event in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The symposium, titled “Enhancing Cooperation in Combating Trafficking in Persons,” drew attendees from a variety of fields to review anti-human trafficking policies.

It also raised awareness of common patterns and recent developments in human trafficking, along with effective means of protection and prevention.

“At the Saudi National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, we aim to exchange experiences and foster coordination to combat human trafficking, prevent its occurrence, reduce its impact on victims and protect them,” said Hala Al-Tuwaijri, president of the Human Rights Commission.

During a panel discussion titled “Normative and International Framework to Combat Trafficking in Persons,” Al-Tuwaijri warned that crises and conflicts around the world create a fertile environment for traffickers to exploit the vulnerable.

Human trafficking encompasses sex trafficking, forced labor and domestic servitude, often involving women and children.

Al-Tuwaijri said that human trafficking transcends borders. By working together across countries and regions, the international community can protect the vulnerable and uphold human rights, he added.

Per Saudi law, those found guilty of human trafficking in the Kingdom face up to 15 years’ imprisonment, fines of up to SR1 million ($266,000), or both.

Al-Tuwaijri highlighted the importance of bolstering international efforts to combat human trafficking through comprehensive legislation and enhanced case detection.

In 2023, anti-human trafficking organizations in the Kingdom conducted 41 training programs, aiming to raise awareness of vulnerabilities to trafficking within migrant communities. The training covered victim identification, best practices in screening vulnerable populations in detention centers, trauma-informed and victim-centered interviewing and assistance techniques, search procedures, evidence collection and criminal investigative processes during trafficking trials.

Abdullah Abu Thunin, vice minister of human resources and social development, said that significant efforts are being made in the Saudi labor market to combat human trafficking.

The ministry is activating a national plan to combat human trafficking, he added. The strategy is based on four main pillars: Prevention, protection and assistance, prosecution, and national, regional and international cooperation.

Abu Thunin said that the ministry has launched several programs to target human trafficking, including one scheme to improve contractual relationships.

“Through the authenticated contracts program and the wage protection program, more than 7 million contracts were signed by employees, obligating employers to pay workers’ wages,” he added.

The Friendly Settlement for Labor Disputes program also achieved a 77 percent reconciliation rate in labor disputes.

Abu Thunin said that compliance rates have increased in the Kingdom since the programs were launched.

Many government agencies, including the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Public Prosecution, the Human Rights Commission and the National Committee to Combat Trafficking, took part in the Riyadh symposium.

Numerous international organizations also attended, including the UN International Children’s Emergency Fund, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and the UN Resident Coordinator Office.


Saudi Arabia’s envoy opens ‘Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved’ exhibition in US

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
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Saudi Arabia’s envoy opens ‘Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved’ exhibition in US

Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington.
  • The work by Saudi Arabia artist Ahmad Angawi was presented by the Saudi Embassy and the International Finance Corporation
  • Al-Mangour is a traditional Hijazi craft that consists of wooden latticework forming a mesh-like screen

RIYADH: Princess Reema bint Bandar, Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador, opened the exhibition “Al-Mangour: Loved and Beloved” in Washington on Wednesday.

The work by Saudi Arabia artist Ahmad Angawi was presented by the Saudi Embassy and the International Finance Corporation.

The exhibition, held at the IFC’s headquarters, showcases the beauty of Al-Mangour, the traditional Hijazi craft that consists of wooden latticework forming a mesh-like screen.

The craft reflects the spiritual relationship between humans through a story of two halves that form one unit — the “loved and beloved.”

The exhibition included musical performances and traditional cuisine.

In her speech, Princess Reema stressed the importance of traditional arts in strengthening cultural identity and solidifying national heritage, and building bridges with other nations.

She lauded Angawi for preserving and developing the traditions of the Hijaz region.

Among those in attendance were the IFC’s Director Makhtar Diop, officials, diplomats and artists.


Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan
Updated 3 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

Saudi ambassador presents credentials to emperor of Japan

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Japan, Ghazi Faisal Binzagr, on Thursday presented his diplomatic credentials to Emperor Naruhito during a reception at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

The envoy, who took up his post in January, conveyed to the emperor the greetings and appreciation of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and their best wishes to the government of Japan and its people for their continued progress and prosperity, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.


MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer

 MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer
Updated 11 min 54 sec ago
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MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer

 MDLBEAST building a creative tribe through music, says chief creative officer
  • Ahmad AlAmmary talks about MDLBEAST vision, his own musical background for 6th season of ‘The Mayman Show’

Riyadh: MDLBEAST is building a tribe for the region’s music lovers through its initiatives such as the Soundstorm festival, the platform’s Chief Creative Officer Ahmad AlAmmary, also known as DJ Baloo, said. The Saudi veteran DJ and producer with over 20 years of experience under his belt sat down with Arab News’ “The Mayman Show” for the launch of its sixth season, talking about MDLBEAST’s ambitions and his own background.

His role taps into his ability to find solutions on many levels, he shared.

 

 

“It’s been my role since the onset of this whole project. My background sits between design thinking, brand development, and brand strategy, and music,” the COO said, adding that the role feels like a perfect fit for him.

“Creatively, you know, every day is its own day. There’s no system for creativity. Its context is whatever comes your way, whatever problem you’re solving — that’s where your creativity sits,” he said.

AlAmmary said it was MDLBEAST’s goal to become involved in all facets of the creative music industry since its launch in 2019.

 

 

“From the onset, the big splash was Soundstorm, but we had every intention of launching our record labels, our music conferences, and XP Music Future,” he said.

The platform launched around the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which provided an opportunity for it to focus on entertaining.

“So, whether or not you (could) go to an event, we were still around there to … provide the music and to provide the entertainment,” AlAmmary said.

After pandemic restrictions eased, it allowed him and the team to stay on the path they paved. MDLBEAST started with flagship live events and some record labels.

 

 

“We had … launched MDLBEAST Records, Qabo, Wattar, Maestro-Lab and, most recently, Mahoul Records. Each of these labels, for example, serves … a niche. Above and beyond, our conference is a really unique experience that gathers people from around the region. We have a day and night experience. During the day, it’s all about learning and networking, connecting, and collaborating. And at night, that turns into a regional music showcase,” AlAmmary said.

MDLBEAST highlights up-and-coming brands that are leading the underground scene of Saudi music across a variety of genres, the COO said.

“It’s just been, you know, a lot of fun … but also a lot of … work. We’re turning around projects left and right,” he said, adding that the platform is now “diving into venues” with the launch of Beast House, for example, “Riyadh’s first music and creative members club,” according to the MDLBEAST website.

 

 

“We developed these smaller pop-up events, with more intimate settings,” AlAmmary said, explaining that the events take place in spaces that have been abandoned, giving MDLBEAST space to flex its creative muscles.

“We can take over and create an experience that is very unique,” he said. “We saw that with Tahlia in Jeddah and Irqah in Riyadh, the abandoned hospital … We’re looking at all of these different spaces and projects as … fun experiences that we can create for our people and platforms for musicians to shine.”

Speaking about his own background, AlAmmary says he owes his creative attributes to his very musical family.

 

 

“My eldest brother, Khalid, actually, he was kind of like the cultural center of our family. Everything from film to music, design, art, you know, we always had a deep interest in the arts because of his influence. Especially with me and house music — that’s where I learned it. I learned it from Khalid,” he said.

The DJ and producer developed an interest in music at an early age.

“By the time I was 17, I already had a collection of music,” he said. “Years later, you know, I started to get things like a residency in Bahrain … I would just travel to Beirut and the gigs would appear.”

 


3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi

3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi
Updated 18 min 45 sec ago
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3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi

3rd European Film Festival set to launch in Saudi
  • VOX Cinemas will host 21 European films over the one-week event
  • The line-up features movies that have won awards including Oscars and the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival

RIYADH: The third European Film Festival begins next week, taking place in both Riyadh and Jeddah for the first time.
The event, which will run from May 29 to June 6, is being launched by the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom in conjunction with the embassies of EU member states and Arabia Pictures.
It will be hosted at VOX Cinemas Century Corner in Riyadh and the newly opened VOX Cinemas Jeddah Park in Jeddah.
This year the festival is bigger than ever, with 21 European films from countries including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The line-up features movies that have won awards including Oscars and the Palme d’Or, the highest prize awarded at the Cannes Film Festival.
EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Christophe Farnaud said: “I am glad that the European Film Festival has become a landmark event on the Kingdom’s cultural calendar. The festival has been expanding year by year and this time around we are not only showcasing more movies, but also bringing the festival to Jeddah. I hope that this will allow even more Saudi film enthusiasts to attend the festival’s many film screenings and side events.”
Ahmed Teama, CEO of Arabia Pictures, expressed his pleasure at extending the collaboration with the EU Delegation to Saudi Arabia for a third consecutive year.
He lauded the festival as one of the most significant cinematic events in the Kingdom, highlighting its unique appeal to a devoted audience of international cinema enthusiasts.
Aimed at facilitating cultural exchange and promoting European cinema, the festival will also foster contacts between European and Saudi filmmakers.
Among the guests will be Oscar-winning Austrian film director Stefan Ruzowitzky, who will give a special masterclass.
Also attending will be director Kyriakos Tofaridis and screenwriter/director Mijke de Jong as well as Robert Higgins and Patrick McGivney, from Cyprus, the Netherlands and Ireland respectively, who will meet the audiences and run an open conversation with filmmakers and film enthusiasts.
All side-events are free of charge and will take place at VOX Cinemas Century Corner in Riyadh.
Cinema enthusiast Meshal Al-Mutairi told Arab News: “I have seen movies during previous EU film fests and like their movie selection.”
For more information about the festival program or to buy tickets, visit https://arabiapictures.sa/EuroFest or https://ksa.voxcinemas.com


Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts
Updated 18 min 26 sec ago
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Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

Saudi foreign minister holds talks with Austrian, Ethiopian counterparts

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday received his Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg in Riyadh, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.

At the beginning of the meeting, Prince Faisal welcomed Schallenberg and his accompanying delegation, wishing them a pleasant stay.

The two sides reviewed ties between the Kingdom and Austria, and ways to support and enhance relations, in addition to exchanging views on regional and international issues.

Prince Faisal also received the Ethiopian Foreign Minister Taye Atske Selassie for talks on developing bilateral ties and joint cooperation, the foreign ministry said.