45% of Saudi children victims of domestic abuse

Updated 24 September 2014

45% of Saudi children victims of domestic abuse

A staggering 45 percent of children within Saudi society are victims of domestic abuse, local media said quoting data released by the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Khalid Abu Rashid, a lawyer and legal adviser, highlighted the figure before a gathering of more than 400 male and female participants at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Tuesday under the theme, “the culture of rights.”
The two-day forum was jointly organized by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Makkah and the Qadim Consultancy Center (QCC) in the presence of senior JCCI members, Jeddah’s Human Rights Commission and other leading social and legal affairs experts.
The forum was primarily focused on issues related to divorce, custody and alimony in order to spread awareness on pressing issues, including including domestic violence and cybercrime.
Abu Rashid raised the issue of child protection and shed light on laws that criminalize acts of torture and abuse, including imprisonment terms and fines, since Islamic law guarantees family-related rights.
“The Kingdom has made quantum leaps in legal rights,” he said. “Penalties for domestic abuse were recently raised from a month to one year in prison and from SR5,000 to SR50,000 in fines,” he said.
He said certain government agencies are empowered to interfere if abuse cases are reported to ensure that potential victims have access to health, social and family consultancy care services and that abusers are called in for questioning to deter them from committing such acts in future.
Serious cases will be referred to an administrative authority or security organs, which have the power to intervene.
A series of torture cases have sparked outrage in the media over the past few days.
In Riyadh, a young man recently confessed to have burned his father to death because of his torture and manhandling. In Jazan, an eight-year-old child sustained burns to his scalp after having chemicals poured onto his head by his father.
The boy had been abused by his drunken and addicted father for years, said media sources.


G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

Updated 22 September 2020

G20 trade and investment ministers discuss COVID-19 response under Saudi Arabia's presidency

RIYADH: The trade and investment ministers of the G20 nations met virtually on Tuesday under the presidency of Saudi Arabia to strengthen trade and investment cooperation.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation to support the recovery of international trade and investment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
They also agreed to support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support.
Khalid Al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's minister of investment, said the collective G20 response to COVID-19 had started to deliver early signs of a “resilient, and stable economic recovery.”
“As policymakers, it is our duty to prioritize the most vulnerable in our societies, including micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and Saudi Arabia stands ready to endorse the G20 policy guidelines for MSMEs,” Falih said.
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce Majid Al-Qasabi told the meeting that measures adopted by the G20 in May were “critical for sustaining the flow of essential goods and services across borders and limiting the human toll of the pandemic.”