Overview

Saudi Arabia

2. Adherence to Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law

Critical

This criterion corresponds with the second criterion of the EU Common Position and evaluates a country’s overall adherence to internationally recognized standards of human rights and international humanitarian law. For this purpose, the database first considers the ratification record of a country with regard to international conventions on human rights and humanitarian law; for example the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, or the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

Second, the database takes into account a selection of aggregated human rights indices as they are annually published by international organizations, non-governmental organizations and university institutes. These include the Voice and Accountability Index and the Rule of Law Index of the World Bank, the Freedom House Index on Political Rights and Civil Liberties, the Political Terror Scale and the military interference in rule of law and the political process as measured by the Fraser Institute’s dataset on Economic Freedom of the World (EFW).

Third, based upon the One-Sided Violence Dataset from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP), the database checks whether the government of a respective country has conducted one-sided violence against civilians in the past five years. Depending on both its membership in important human rights and humanitarian law conventions as well as its overall rating in different human rights-related indices, every country is classified as either ‘critical’, ‘possibly critical’ or ‘not critical’. Here, ‘critical’ indicates that there are serious human rights problems in the country, whereas ‘possibly critical’ points to at least some concern with human rights issues. If the government has conducted one-sided violence against civilians in the last five years, the country is classified as ‘critical’.

Indicators

Convention on the Status of Refugees, 1951 No
Protocol Relating the Status of Refugees, 1967 No
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1969 Yes
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1976 No
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1976 No
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, 1977 Yes
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, 1977 Yes
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1981 Yes
Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1991 No
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, 1991 No
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 2000 No
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1987 Yes
Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990 Yes
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998 No
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, 2002 Yes
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, 2002 Yes
Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 2006 No
International Convention for the Protection of All Persons form Enforced Disappearance, 2010 No
Freedom House 3
Voice and Accountability Index (World Bank Governance Indicators) -1.644
Rule of Law Index (World Bank Governance Indicators) 0.14
Political Terror Scale 3.5
Military interference in rule of law and the political process (EFW) 8.33
One-Sided Violence by Government (past 5 years) (UCDP One-Sided Violence Dataset) 0

Sources

  • United Nations Treaty Collection

    The United Nations Treaty Collection records and publishes treaties and other international agreements pursuant to Article 102 of the United Nations Charter.

    Website

  • Freedom House

    The political rights and civil liberties categories of the Freedom in the World survey by Freedom House contain numerical ratings between 1 and 7 for each country, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The status classification of Free, Partly Free or Nor Free, which is determined by the combination of the political rights and civil liberties ratings, indicates the general state of freedom in a country or territory.

  • Voice and Accountability Index

    The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) of the World Bank report aggregate and individual governance indicators for over 200 countries and territories over the period 1996-2017, for six dimensions of governance. One of these dimensions is the Voice and Accountability Index, which measures various aspects of the political process, civil liberties and political rights. These indicators measure the extent to which citizens of a country are able to participate in the selection of governments.

  • Political Terror Scale

    The Political Terror Scale is compiled by Mark Gibney from the University of North Carolina. It ranks over 180 countries according to their levels of human rights violations:

    • Level 5: Terror has expanded to the whole population. The leaders of these societies place no limits on the means or thoroughness with which they pursue personal or ideological goals.
    • Level 4: Civil and political rights violations have expanded to large numbers of the population. Murders, disappearances, and torture are a common part of life. In spite of its generality, on this level terror affects those who interest themselves in politics or ideas.
    • Level 3: There is extensive political imprisonment, or a recent history of such imprisonment. Execution or other political murders and brutality may be common. Unlimited detention, with or without a trial, for political views is accepted.
    • Level 2: There is a limited amount of imprisonment for nonviolent political activity. However, few persons are affected, torture and beatings are exceptional. Political murder is rare.
    • Level 1: Countries under a secure rule of law, people are not imprisoned for their views, and torture is rare or exceptional. Political murders are extremely rare.
  • Rule of Law Index

    The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) of the World Bank report aggregate individual governance indicators for over 200 countries and territories over the period 1996-2017, for six dimensions of governance. One of these dimensions is the Rule of Law Index, which measures the extent to which agents have confidence in and abide by the rules of society. These include perceptions of the incidence of crime, the effectiveness and predictability of the judiciary, and the enforceability of contracts.

  • Military Interference in Rule of Law and the Political Process (EFW)

    The Economic Freedom of the World Annual Report of the of the Fraser Institute has five Components. "Military Interference in Rule of Law and the Political Process" is one sub-component of the second component "Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights".

  • UCDP One-Sided Violence Dataset

    The One-Sided Violence Dataset, produced by the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, is an actor-year dataset with information of intentional attacks on civilians by governments and formally organized armed groups.

    Website