HRC 34 Oral Interventions: ID w/ SRSG on Violence against Children

On 7 March 2017, ADHRB’s advocacy fellow Tyler Pry delivered an oral intervention at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council. He participated in the Item 3 Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General on combating violence against children. He delivered an oral intervention addressing the situation of children convicted as minors in Saudi Arabia, particularly the cases of Dawood al-Marhoon, Abdulla al-Zaher, and Ali al-Nimr. Please continue reading for full remarks or click here to download a PDF.

Mr. President,

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain and the Bahrain Institute for Rights & Democracy thank the SRSGs for their reports. We emphasize that this Council should take necessary actions towards ending all forms of violence against children within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

We recognize that some states have made considerable progress in this regard, but are concerned that some still lack genuine commitment.  We are deeply concerned that Saudi Arabia has yet to enact any legislation that protects children from the death penalty. Saudi Arabia continues to arbitrarily detain and torture children, thereby consistently violating and undermining its obligation to guarantee their safety. Several individuals, arrested as minors, are facing imminent execution. These include Dawood al-Marhoon, Abdullah al-Zaher and Ali Al-Nimr, all of whom were charged due to their participation in peaceful protests. These individuals are the subject of several communications by the Special Procedures.

In light of the continued lack of investigation into these individuals’ legitimate allegations of torture and coerced confessions, we urge Saudi Arabia to immediately drop all charges against them; to establish a prohibition on the execution of minors or individuals arrested as minors; and to take serious steps to combat torture and arbitrary detention. We urge the SRSG to reiterate these calls.

Highlighting the SRSG’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict, we would further like to call attention to the Saudi-led coalition’s killing and maiming of children in Yemen. The Coalition’s consistent attacks on schools and hospitals continues unabated. The coalition also continues to deny humanitarian access to Yemen. Many children are undernourished in Yemen due to lack of food supplies. Several also suffer due to insufficient or inadequate medical care and supplies. Therefore, we ask Ms. Zerrougi: What efforts has she taken to urge immediate restraint on conflict parties in Yemen?

Thank you.