UN Authority Figures

UN Commission on Sustainable Development: Saudi Arabia

Photo: Armaye Sayuri. In January 2011 she was admitted to Madinah's King Fahd Hospital to recover from injuries suffered due to abuse from her sponsor's family.
"Foreign workers are being warned of the 'deadly risks' they face in Saudi Arabia, with more than 45 maids awaiting execution...Campaigners say many of Saudi Arabia's 1.5 million migrant workers, around 375,000 of whom are Sri Lankan, are attracted to the country by the prospect of working for wealthy families but face exploitation and abuse." (The maids on Saudi Arabia's death row: Scores of foreign women facing execution for child abuse, witchcraft... and killing would-be rapists, Daily Mail, January 13, 2013

Mission of the Commission on Sustainable Development: "...to promote dialogue and build partnerships for sustainable development with governments, the international community and the major groups identified in Agenda 21 as key actors outside the central government who have a major role to play in the transition towards sustainable development. These Major Groups include women, youth, indigenous peoples, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific community, and farmers" (Commission on Sustainable Development web-site, "Mandate of the Commission on Sustainable Development")

Term of office: 2011-2014 (re-elected April 28, 2010)

Saudi Arabia's Record on human rights:
"Women are not treated as equal members of society, and many laws discriminate against them. They are not permitted to vote in municipal elections, drive cars, or travel within or outside of the country without a male relative. According to interpretations of Sharia in Saudi Arabia, daughters generally receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers, and the testimony of one man is equal to that of two women. Moreover, Saudi women seeking access to the courts must be represented by a male. The religious police enforce a strict policy of gender segregation and often harass women, using physical punishment to ensure that they meet conservative standards of dress in public. In May 2011, Saudi women launched a highly visible campaign demanding the expansion of their rights, including the right to drive. A 32-year-old Saudi woman, Manal al-Sharif, was arrested the same month, after posting a video of herself driving on YouTube; she was released after being detained for 10 days...Saudi women ...do not enjoy equal access to classes and facilities." (Freedom House Country Report 2013, Saudi Arabia)