UN Authority Figures

UN Human Rights Council: Saudi Arabia

Photo: Saudi women in Hofuf city, east of Riyadh, Al-Arabiyah

Mission of the Human Rights Council:
"The General Assembly...2. Decides that the Council shall be responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction of any kind and in a fair and equal manner; 3. Decides also that the Council should address situations of violations of human rights, including gross and systematic violations, and make recommendations thereon..." (Resolution 60/251)

Saudi Arabia's Term of office: 2009-2012

Saudi Arabia's Record on human rights:
"Women...may not legally drive cars, and their use of public facilities is restricted when men are present. By law and custom, Saudi women cannot travel within or outside of the country without a male relative...[D]aughters receive half the inheritance awarded to their brothers, and the testimony of one man is equal to that of two women in Sharia courts...[A]llegations of torture by police and prison officials are common, and access to prisoners by independent human rights and legal organizations is strictly limited...Religious freedom does not exist in Saudi Arabia...Islam is the official religion, and all Saudis are required by law to be Muslims. The government prohibits the public practice of any religions other than Islam...The royal family forbids the formation of political parties...The government tightly controls content in domestic media and dominates regional print and satellite television coverage...There continue to be public reports of female domestic workers suffering regular physical, sexual, and emotional abuse..." (Freedom House Country Report 2009, Saudi Arabia)