The Human Rights Commission shall report directly to the King. It aims to protect and enhance human rights according to international standards for human rights in all aspects, promote public awareness thereof and participate in ensuring implementation of the same in light of the provisions of Sharia. The Commission shall be the government authority in charge of providing opinion and counsel in matters relating to human rights.
The Commission shall be an independent corporate entity with full authority to perform its tasks as stipulated in this Statute. Its headquarters shall be in the City of Riyadh, and it may open branches and establish offices in other provinces in the Kingdom.
The Commission shall have a president appointed by Royal Order at the rank of "Minister" and a vice-president appointed by Royal Order at the rank of "Grade Excellent".
The Commission shall have a board to be named (the Commission's Board), formed as follows:
- President of the Commission: Chairman
- Vice-President of the Commission: Vice-Chairman
- A minimum of eighteen members appointed by Royal Order for a period of four renewable years. Said members shall be highly qualified in Sharia, law, political sciences or education, and renowned for their integrity, competency and expertise in the field of human rights. They shall work on a full-time basis in the Commission during the period of their membership.
- A minimum of six part-time members appointed by Royal Order for a renewable period of four years. They shall be known for their interest in human rights. These members shall be entitled to attend meetings without the right to vote.
The Commission's Board shall have the ultimate authority over the Commission's affairs. It shall take all necessary means to achieve its purposes within the limits of this Statute, especially the following:
- Ascertain the implementation of existing laws and regulations related to human rights by concerned government authorities, uncover any violations of the laws applicable in the Kingdom that constitute infringement of human rights, and take necessary legal measures in this respect.
- Provide opinion on draft laws pertaining to human rights, review existing laws and propose amendments thereto, in accordance with the law.
- Monitor government agencies' implementation of international human rights instruments to which the Kingdom is party, and ensure that such agencies take all necessary measures for their implementation.
- Provide opinion on international instruments pertaining to human rights with regard to the Kingdom's accession to them, or to provisions stipulated therein.
- Approve the Kingdom's reports on human rights. The President of the Commission shall bring necessary reports before the King.
- Visit prisons and detention centers at any time without permission from the competent authority and bring reports on them before the King.
- Receive and verify complaints related to human rights and take legal measures pertaining to them.
- Devise a public policy for promoting awareness of human rights, and propose methods to promote the culture of human rights through institutions and agencies in charge of education, training, media, etc.
- Approve the publication of circulars, magazines and other publications related to the Commission's objectives and powers.
- Approve the Commission's annual report and the annual report on the state of human rights in the Kingdom and bring them before the King.
- Approve the draft budget of the Commission and its closing account, and bring them before the King in accordance with the law.
- Cooperate with national, regional and international associations, organizations and institutions in the field of human rights to achieve the Commission's objectives and improve its relations.
- Approve the convening of national and international conferences and seminars on human rights issues, and participate in them in accordance with the law.
- Approve the filing and rebuttal of lawsuits pertaining to human rights issues.
- Approve administrative and financial regulations as well as rights and privileges of Commission's Board members and others cooperating with the Commission.
- Assign all or some of the Commission's Board members - appointed according to paragraph (c) of Article (4) of this Statute - to oversee the Commission's various departments.
- Establish other departments deemed necessary by the Board.
- Form permanent or ad hoc committees, from among members or others, to perform specific tasks falling within the powers of the Board.
The Commission's Board may invite representatives of ministries, other government agencies and private institutions when considering an issue pertaining to such bodies.
The Commission's Board shall convene at least once a month, or whenever the need arises, following an invitation from the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman or upon the request of one third of its members. The meeting shall not be deemed valid unless attended by a majority of Board members, including the Chairman or the Vice- Chairman.
The Commission's Board shall pass its resolutions and recommendations by majority vote of members in attendance. In case of a tie, the Chairman shall cast the deciding vote.
The President shall manage, represent and run the Commission according to its powers and duties and oversee the progress of its work. To this end, he shall undertake the following:
- Oversee the drafting of the Commission's administrative and financial regulations prior to submitting them to the Commission's Board.
- Approve the financial procedures in accordance with relevant applicable laws and regulations.
- Oversee the progress of work in the Commission through approved regulations.
- Oversee the preparation of the Commission's annual report and the annual report on the state of human rights in the Kingdom prior to submitting them to the Commission's Board.
- Oversee the preparation of the Commission's annual budget and the closing account prior to submitting them to the Commission's Board.
- Represent the Commission before government agencies, and other agencies and institutions within the Kingdom and abroad.
- Bring the Kingdom's reports on human rights before the King upon their approval by the Commission's Board in accordance with paragraph (5) of Article (5) of this Statute.
The Commission's Vice-President shall assist the President when present and assume his duties in his absence.
The Commission shall consist of the following departments:
a) Department of Legal Affairs, Studies and Research:
It shall provide comparative Sharia and legal counsel with regard to human rights issues, and matters referred to it by the Commission's Board or its President; contribute to the drafting of the Kingdom's periodic reports which are required by its accession to international human rights instruments and prepare rebuttals to lawsuits related to human rights issues and file such lawsuits.
b) Department of International Relations and Organizations:
It shall coordinate with international governmental or non-governmental organizations and other institutions concerned with human rights issues, and follow up cases of Saudi nationals whose rights are violated abroad.
c) Department of Complaints:
It shall receive complaints from individuals, institutions, organizations and others with regards to human rights issues, and verify their validity prior to their referral to the relevant department at the Commission.
d) Department of Follow-up and Investigation:
It shall follow up any complaint until resolved, visit prisons and detention centers – at the discretion of the Commission's Board in this regard and without permission from the competent authority- investigate human rights violations and report results to the Commission's Board.
e) Department of Public Relations:
It shall coordinate among the relevant departments within the Commission, attend to requests referred to it by the Commission's Board or President in this respect, follow media coverage on human rights and assist in the convening of relevant conferences and symposia.
f) Department of Financial and Administrative Affairs:
It shall administer the Commission's personnel affairs, budget and properties in such a way as to ensure a smooth run of its operations.
A center for publication, information, documentation and translation in the human rights field shall be established. It shall be managed by a full-time Board member, nominated by the President of the Commission. This Center shall aim at spreading the basic principles and concepts of human rights which are consistent with the provisions of Sharia, establishing the culture of human rights and cooperating with international organizations, government and non-government institutions involved in promoting human rights. The Center, in particular, shall have the following duties:
- Overseeing the convening of human rights conferences and symposia held in the Kingdom.
- Promoting the culture of human rights, through inter alia conducting comparative studies on Sharia and international human rights instruments; educating citizens and seeking the assistance of competent institutions and agencies in education, information and culture.
- Preparing circulars, magazines and publications relating to the Commission's objectives and powers.
- Preparing the Commission's annual report for submission to the Commission's Board.
- Organizing special courses in the Kingdom to promote awareness in the field of human rights for employees of agencies concerned with human rights and other interested parties.
- Documenting human rights materials and providing translation from and into Arabic.
Human rights departments in relevant ministries or government agencies shall act as liaison officers for the Commission.
The Commission may seek the assistance, as needed, of a sufficient number of experts, specialists and qualified personnel to perform its duties as provided for in this Statute.
Save for the President and Vice-President, the Commission's personnel shall be subject to the Labor Law and the Social Insurance Law.
All government agencies shall provide the Commission, upon request, with any data or information related to its work in order to enable it to carry out duties assigned to it.
1- The Commission shall have a separate budget prepared and issued in accordance with the procedures of the State's General Budget. Disbursement from said budget shall be in accordance with the State Budget instructions. The Commission's funds shall comprise the following:
- Commission's allocations in the State's Budget.
- Income generated from activities within the Commission's powers.
- Donations, aids, grants and wills accepted by the Commission in accordance with the rules set by the Commission's Board.
- Other resources that the Commission's Board decides to add to the Commission's funds.
2- The Commission's fiscal year shall start with the State's fiscal year and end with it. In exception to this, the Commission's first fiscal year shall start from the date this Statute comes into effect.
The Commission shall bring its closing account before the King for any directions he deems fit within three months from the end of the fiscal year.
This Statute shall be published in the Official Gazette and shall come into effect sixty days from the date of its publication.