JEDDAH — Deputy Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for Labor Dr. Abdullah Abuthnain said that the rate of reconciliation achieved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development (MHRSD) in labor disputes through its Wudi Program reached 77 percent. “Wudi is one of the programs introduced by the ministry with the objective of reducing human trafficking crimes,” he said.

Abuthnain said that these programs include the initiative to improve the contractual relationship with the aim of activating the contractual reference in labor relations, the Contract Documentation Program, and the Wage Protection Program. “More than seven million contracts have been concluded since the launch of the Contract Documentation Program while the Wage Protection Program achieved high levels of compliance from the part of establishments in the payment of wages of their workers,” he said.

The deputy minister made the remarks during his participation on Wednesday in a dialogue session titled “Strengthening cooperation in the field of combating human trafficking crimes,” organized by the Human Rights Commission. Speakers and specialists at the local and international levels participated in the event organized as part of the efforts to discuss the best ways to combat and prevent this crime.

In his speech, Abuthnain stressed that Saudi Arabia has attached special importance to combating crimes of human trafficking, respecting human rights, and preserving the dignity of every individual living in the country.

Abuthnain also spoke about the efforts made by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in combating trafficking in persons in the local employment labor market. “The ministry worked to implement and activate the National Plan to Combat Crimes of Trafficking in Persons, which is based on four main axes: prevention; protection and assistance; judicial prosecution; and national, regional and international cooperation. This is in addition to enacting legislation and policies related to the contractual rights of workers in the labor market, and protecting them from irregular practices, whether trafficking in persons, forced labor, or other negative practices and labor crimes,” he said.

The deputy minister stressed that the ministry, in cooperation with the Human Rights Commission and the relevant authorities, is continuing to raise the efficiency of the Saudi labor market, increase its attractiveness, safeguard contractual rights, and protect groups most vulnerable to human trafficking practices.

For his part, Sattam Al-Harbi, undersecretary for oversight and work environment development, briefed on the ministry’s oversight efforts in protecting workers in the labor market from crimes and suspected cases of trafficking in persons. “All the cases received by the ministry are dealt with in complete confidentiality and referred to the competent authorities,” he said while calling on everyone to provide any report that may be suspected of providing indicators of human trafficking crimes through the ministry’s channels. “The ministry will take the necessary action on these reports,” he added.

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