Al-Aiban: Any violation against disabled is forbidden; rules protecting them in force


Okaz/Saudi Gazette

GENEVA – Saudi Arabia has announced the preparation of the urban environment in the Kingdom, in line with the objectives of the Comprehensive Accessibility Plan for the Built Environment. The plan allows for access and a comprehensive approach to improve the physical environment for persons with disabilities.

The aim is to enable persons with disabilities to live with independence and merge into society. He drew attention to the fact that many measures aiming at enhancing and protecting human rights in general have been taken and rights of persons with disabilities, in particular, have been addressed. These measures are in line with related international standards, including the UNCRPD (United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

UNCRPD is the human rights convention concerning persons with disabilities. It is a list of rights guaranteed to persons with disabilities to improve their access to society, education and employment.

The Saudi statement during discussion of Saudi Arabia’s first report presented in line with the UNCRPD in Geneva last Wednesday, was read out by the head of the Kingdom’s delegation and President of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) Dr. Bandar Bin Muhammad Al-Aiban.

He said: “The Kingdom joining the UNCRPD and its optional protocol, emanates from its values and regulations derived from the Islamic Shariah, that make it compulsory to protect the rights of persons with disabilities and forbid violation of any rights of persons with disabilities.”

Al-Aiban said that the Kingdom’s government, in line with directives of and direct supervision by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, is keen to continue its efforts in serving the two holy mosques and the holy sites and providing resources and potentials to serve visitors to these places. These include completing a major infrastructure in which all the needs and requirements for persons with disabilities have been taken into consideration.

Al-Aiban said that one of the basic pivots for protecting and enhancing the rights of persons with disabilities is the supervisory role practiced by government and nongovernment authorities concerned with ensuring compliance with the regulations and bylaws related to rights of persons with disabilities, and the UNCRPD, which with the Kingdom’s joining the Convention, has become part of Saudi Arabia’s national regulations.

Al-Aiban drew attention to the fact that the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 comprises plans and programs to make the Kingdom a pioneer and an example to be followed in the world. This includes enabling persons with disabilities to get appropriate job opportunities and education that will ensure their independence and merge them into society.

He stressed that the Kingdom is striving through “The life quality program”, one of the programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to make available infrastructure utilities all over the Kingdom that are easily accessible via the available means of public transport. These ought to be prepared to receive persons with disabilities, he added.