Saudi Arabia reviewed by the UPR
Monday, 09 February 2009 07:06

On the morning of 6 February 2009, the Working Group on the UPR examined the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia was represented by the Vice-President of its Human Rights Commission, Mr Zaid Al-Hussain. The majority of States, mostly members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), were complimentary of Saudi Arabia's progress in the promotion of human rights. Some of these States also offered soft recommendations for further reforms. The majority of the critical recommendations came from the Western European and Others Group, with some Latin American States also making critical remarks. Recommendations and questions focused on the following areas:


  • Discrimination and violence against women, in particular legal guardianship, access to the labour market, and the need for better systems of protection and redress for family violence
  • CEDAW and the need to implement the treaty body recommendations, withdraw reservations, and create programs to educate Saudi women on CEDAW at the local level
  • Saudi Arabia's failure to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, The Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, the Optional Protocol to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
  • The limitations on rights afforded to migrant workers and the need to grant freedom of movement, provide support services and pay special attention to the situation of female domestic workers
  • The need for a greater dialogue concerning religious freedom and the need to enact laws guaranteeing freedom of worship
  • Amending the criminal code so as to bring it in line with international standards, in particular on the issues of criminal responsibility for minors, corporal punishment, and the death penalty

More information: 

  • ISHR's full UPR reviews can be found here.

  • Click here for general information about the UPR and previous reviews of this session.

  • Download the timetable for the remainder of the 4th session.



Last Updated on Monday, 09 February 2009 07:07
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