2004 Press Release

Saudi Arabia responds to human rights report
Ambassador to the United States Prince Bandar bin Sultan issued the following statement in Washington DC on July 14, 2004:

Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s largest employers of foreign workers.  More than 6 million people come to Saudi Arabia for employment, equaling one quarter of the total population.  These workers remit more than $15 billion in earnings to their countries of origin.  Millions of families around the world depend on these remittances for their livelihood.

We disagree with the report by Human Rights Watch and do not believe it is a fair or accurate reflection of Saudi Arabia and grossly exaggerates the few instances which in no way reflect the positive experiences of the millions of foreign workers in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has effective labor laws which protect all workers, including foreign workers.   If there are any violations, there is legal recourse and people who have violated the laws are subject to punishment.

The Kingdom has established an independent human rights commission and takes the issue of human rights very seriously and we continue to make progress in this regard.