[Princess Banderi Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, director general of the King Khaled Foundation, receives the Chaillot Prize for Human Rights from Ambassador Adam Kulach, head of the European Union Delegation, in Riyadh. (AN photo by Khalid Al-Khamis)]
Riyadh, (Arab News): The King Khaled Foundation (KKF) has been awarded the European Union’s prestigious Chaillot Prize for Human Rights 2013 for its work to combat domestic violence.
Princess Banderi Abdulrahman Al-Faisal, the foundation’s director general, received the award on behalf of the KKF at a ceremony organized by the Delegation of the European Union here Monday.
“The KKF was presented the award for speaking out against domestic abuse, for launching a well-publicized media campaign, and for drafting the law against domestic abuse, which was adopted by the Saudi government,” said Ambassador Adam Kulach, head of the EU Delegation in Riyadh, in his citation speech.
“The KKF has been persistently promoting human rights by advising, counseling and working against domestic violence.”
Several ambassadors from EU and other countries, and top Saudi officials, attended the event.
The EU also recognized Hope, a Jeddah-based non-governmental organization, for its work teaching life skills to children with disabilities.
Kulach presented a diploma of recognition to Hope Director Uzma Raheem. Princess Banderi said: “We’re honored to receive the prize … It took seven years for the KKF to lobby for victims of domestic abuse and then draft legislation that will be implemented soon by the Saudi government.”
The princess said she was “concerned” about the growing incidence of domestic violence in Saudi Arabia. She said the new law would act as a major deterrent because it criminalizes domestic violence.
The new legislation aims to protect people from all forms of abuse and offers them shelter and social, psychological and medical help.
Those found guilty of abuse could face prison sentences of up to one year and fines of up to SR50,000. The new law also allows witnesses to report abuse to the Ministry of Social Affairs or government agencies without having to disclose their identities.
The KKF is a major charitable organization established by family members of the late King Khaled, who ruled the Kingdom from 1975 until his death in 1982.
The Chaillot prize celebrates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, presented to the UN General Assembly at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, and adopted on Dec. 10, 1948. It is awarded in close cooperation with the EU embassies to local civil society organizations and public institutions for their efforts to promote awareness of the rights of vulnerable groups in the Gulf Cooperation Council region.