Kingdom adopts tough new penalties for human trafficking

July 13, 2009

The Council of Ministers today adopted tough new penalties for human trafficking.  The new law bans all forms of human trafficking and established a sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to one million riyals ($267,000). The punishments increases if victims are women or persons with special needs; the crime is committed against a child; the perpetrator victimized a spouse or one of the victim's close relatives; the perpetrator was a guardian or having authority over the victim; or if the perpetrator was an official of the regulations' enforcement.

The Council also set up a ministerial committee in the Human Rights Commission to combat human trafficking.  The committee will be composed of representatives of the Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Social Affairs, Labor, Culture and Information, and the Human Rights Commission.

The new law defines human trafficking to include coercion of a person, threat, deception, deceit or abduction, misuse of position, influence or authority against a person, taking advantage of their weakness, or giving or receiving money or enticements to gain the approval a person for sexual acts, work, coercive service, begging, slavery, practices similar to slavery, organ removal or performance of medical tests on him or her.

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