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The International Human Rights Day, that is on the tenth of December, comes this year while the world is still living under the influence of the Corona pandemic. It is estimated that the outbreak of this virus may cause between 40 and 60 million people to fall into extreme poverty and around hundreds thousands, or even millions, of deaths in all countries whether in the developing or developed world. Those are considered one of the very great threats to human rights. To illustrate, the prolonged closures and embargoes, the high economic costs of this pandemic on economic establishments of the countries, the suspension of many economic projects and the impact of global transport increase the poverty rates in the world and doubled the number of people who are looking for the right to work. However, when we look at the situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we find that the state and its wise leadership have succeeded in facing this pandemic and have limited its devastating effects on human rights and indeed the Kingdom was able to begin to overcome the effects of this pandemic.

Moreover, there is no doubt that the celebration of the International Human Rights Day provides an opportunity for everyone to evaluate what has been achieved in the various fields of human rights. It also urges you to move towards achieving a brighter future through the cooperation and participation of all sectors and relevant authorities in the country to fulfill these rights, especially facilitating access to the most relevant rights to people’s lives and their future. These include the right to education, the right to treatment, the right to housing and a decent living.

Besides, the importance of the right to access digital services has increased in the recent period in order to enable many other services rights to be fulfilled.  This actually requires concerted efforts by the relevant authorities to ensure that these rights are fulfilled for everyone and in all regions of the Kingdom. For more illustration, with the emergence of the Corona pandemic, digital technology has proven to be an essential part of the solutions provided by the government to confront this global pandemic as it has allowed the governmental agencies in the Kingdom to continue providing public services to citizens and residents, and thus contributed to continuing business and keeping people in contact. In addition, with the emergence of new types of remote work contracts, the need to enable the right to digital technology increases, which will contribute in achieving sustainable development goals in the Kingdom in general and help meet the right to work in particular. Hence, it is vitally important to pay attention to the right to access digital services for all, especially for the less developed centers and governorates in our country. To illustrate, in the light of the adoption of the remote education method for all education sectors during this pandemic and the vision of continuing reliance on this method in some disciplines, this requires creating and strengthening the incubating environment to fulfill the right to education for all.

Moreover, the Kingdom, while imposing some restrictions to confront this pandemic, has taken into account the protection of human rights, and there was keenness from the relevant authorities to ensure that all decisions and restrictions that have been taken aim to achieve medical goals and are based on commitment to dignity, ethical standards and the right to health for all, and provided the best health services for everyone regardless their age, nationality, or regular residence permit.

On this day, we should refer to that, according to the Sustainable Development Report 2020, the Kingdom is now ranked the 1st in the international index regarding the population’s feeling of safety while walking at night in the area in which they live compared to the Group of Twenty countries. This reflects that the Kingdom has tried hard to provide, protect and promote the rest of other human rights.

Finally, the Kingdom has been keen to include many texts in its laws and regulations that affirm the state’s commitment to preserving and promoting human rights, and has also acceded to many international and regional agreements that affirm this matter.