Training Workshop on Protecting Human Rights in Light of Health Crises and Natural Disasters.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
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The Technical Cooperation Program celebrates the Arab Human Rights Day, which was approved by the League of Arab States on March 16, 2004, which coincides with the day on which the Arab Charter on Human Rights entered into force. The celebration of Arab Human Rights Day this year also coincided with a difficult time and a global health crisis due to the Corona pandemic.

On this occasion and due to the obstacles and challenges facing the whole world of a global humanitarian crisis that left huge dimensions related to human rights, a training workshop was organized in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in cooperation and partnership between the Human Rights Commission in the Kingdom and the High Commission for Human Rights, through the existing technical cooperation program. Between the authority and the commission. This training workshop was organized over two days, attracting a distinguished elite of experts and experts from international and regional organizations and national institutions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This training program aims to integrate a human rights perspective and shed light on international standards that ensure the protection of human rights in response to natural disasters and health crises, and to activate the role of civil society institutions and the private sector in the event of disasters and health crises. The program will be directed to employees of the ministries, civil defense, the Red Crescent, the Food and Drug Authority, the King Salman Relief Center, private sector institutions, as well as civil society institutions.

The program was opened with an opening speech by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. It was delivered by Moayad Mehyar, the Coordinator of the Technical Cooperation Program in the Kingdom, and a welcome speech by Mona Al Shafei, Director of the General Administration for International Communication and the Department of International Indicators. Human rights when states of emergency are imposed, including taking necessary, proportionate, and non-discriminatory measures so that the measures to impose states of emergency are not exploited in a way that leads to the violation of the human rights of all people.

Mirna Abu Atta, Regional Program Officer at the UNDRR (ROAS) started the first day sessions by highlighting the concept of risk reduction and human rights protection within the Sendai Framework, and also highlighted the progress made by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in implementing this framework. 

The second session was presented by international experts from the World Health Organization, Dr. Hala Abu Talib and Dr. Jamal Nashar, and focused on how the health system responds with a human rights-based approach and how we promote universal health coverage and achieve health security. Ms. Shweran also spoke about dealing with a rights-based approach. Human rights and exploring the mutual reinforcement between human rights and the SDGs. As a. Nouf Al-Balawi shed light on the declaration of the state of emergency and its impact on human rights. The first day was concluded with an open discussion session.

At the end of the training workshop, the United Nations Regional Office for the Arab States for Disaster Risk Reduction appreciated the efforts of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in organizing a workshop to protect human rights in health crises and natural disasters and looked forward to cooperation in the future. This came within the comment of Mrs. Mirna Abu Atta that “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction aims to protect lives, livelihoods, properties and all types of assets of the people. This is an evident proof of the underpinning integration of human rights protection in all its articles and phases from prevention to mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery”.




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