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Saudi Arabia: Human Rights

Volume 464: debated on Wednesday 17 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the signing of human rights agreements by Saudi Arabia on the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement. (158029)

Saudi Arabia is party to the following international instruments:

Convention on the Rights of the Child;

Convention on the Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination;

Convention against torture; and

International convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

Saudi Arabia’s human rights record is poor but improving. Complete implementation of these instruments continues to be a challenge. It is the role of the UN treaty monitoring bodies to assess how well a country is fulfilling its obligations under a treaty. The Government continue to work both bilaterally and with EU partners to encourage Saudi Arabia to fulfil its obligations and report on time.

From April 2008 the UN Human Rights Council will be implementing periodic reviews on all the human rights records of all Member States.