NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has pledged to the UN its ongoing international commitment to combating all forms of child abuse, the Saudi Press Agency reported. During a meeting of the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, dedicated to social, humanitarian and cultural issues, the Kingdom reaffirmed that its laws and regulations relating to child protection covered matters including neglect, discrimination, and exploitation.
Addressing the committee, Reem bint Fahd Al-Omair, third secretary and member of the Kingdom’s permanent mission to the UN, also confirmed her country’s commitment to providing a safe and sound environment for children to develop their skills and abilities and protect them psychologically and physically.
Her comments came in a general debate on children’s rights, during the 74th session of the General Assembly in New York.
Al-Omair said the Kingdom’s rules were aimed at fighting any kind of abuse toward children as part of its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia signed up to in 1996.
She highlighted a law which protected children from all sorts of violations, harm, and exploitation, stressing the importance the Kingdom attached to human rights. She pointed to cases of exploitation and discrimination against children and called for measures to combat them.
Saudi Arabia has launched a number of initiatives to tackle the issue, most notably an awareness campaign about the negative effects of child neglect, a hotline to provide children with support, and a rehabilitation program.
Al-Omair reiterated the Kingdom’s commitment to help children from Syria and Yemen and provide them with free education, health care, and vaccinations, and she also noted her country’s support for UNICEF efforts to combat cholera in Yemen.