KSA’s child protection measures highlighted

Updated 20 March 2016

KSA’s child protection measures highlighted

JEDDAH: At the recent meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Kingdom praised the council for its protection of children, saying that they were among society’s most important members, and that their continued development indicated the integrity of a country and ensured the availability of future resources for social, economic and political progress.
Faisal bin Hassan Trad, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the United Nations, used the session on the rights of children to talk about the Family Security Program of 2010, and its achievements in promoting awareness of children’s rights in the Kingdom. Fifteen government and nongovernmental organizations were present at the meeting.
He noted that 64 violence protection centers are currently being set up in health facilities, adding that “Child Health Passports” are now being issued to monitor the health of children from birth to the age of five.
Trad said that the Kingdom’s educational policies emphasize the country’s commitment to the right of male and female children, including the physically and mentally challenged, to education. He also said that at the primary level, 96 percent of children have access to schools, while the average reading and writing proficiency rates for those between the ages of 15 and 24 is 98 percent. He said that an independent commission was being set up to evaluate the general education system and to improve the quality of its output.
The Kingdom ratified the UN Charter for Protection of the Child and its optional protocol in 1996, along with a number of other agreements relating to the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, the involvement of children in armed conflicts, as well as protection from abuse.

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 20 min 10 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.