(MENAFN - Arab News) The ministry of social affairs has recently approved a draft law for the protection of individuals against physical sexual or psychological abuse including child neglect and denying financial support to dependents.
It is the first time that such offenses will be criminalized in saudi arabia
Violations could incur fines of up to sr50000 and a prison term of anywhere between one month to a year
The law which was drafted with the cooperation of the government and private sectors will give the ministry the power to double the penalty for repeated offenses. it will also allow police intervention in the event that suspects do not report to the social protection headquarters
Abdullah yousuf undersecretary of social welfare at the ministry said the executive list for social protection against abuse has been developed according to a joint action plan with the participation of government and private bodies
'the ministry of social affairs had earlier called on the government and private sectors in addition to the media and other entities to attend brainstorming sessions and open workshops at the ministry's complex in al-darriyah to come up with a system to protect society members from abuse" yousuf said. 'it is the first program of its kind in the kingdom.
'a technical team which includes members from the ministry of social affairs lawyers and other specialists from outside the ministry was formed to draft the outline of the executive list" he said. 'it includes aspects such as domestic violence sexual physical and psychological abuses threatening practices custodianship duties family relations and other such issues.
Yousuf said the list explained the ministry's objectives and efforts aimed at social protection in particular research studies undertaken on victims and their rehabilitation
Al-yousuf called on citizens to participate in this humanitarian effort 'as our religion values and traditions renounce such abusive behavior against children women and other members of society.
An official at the national society for human rights said the executive list for social protection against abuse has criminalized all acts of abuse either physical or psychological. the list also included sanctions against child neglect.
Suhaila hammad a member of the executive board at the society said the list stipulated several sanctions against parents found guilty of abusing their children.
'the list seeks to provide protection against all kinds of abuse and to impose regulatory sanctions against perpetrators" said hammad.