Saudi Arabia has told the U.N. it will do better on human rights. Just as it did five years ago
Subscriber content preview. or Sign In
Saudi Arabia is yet again promising that this is the year it will improve its human-rights record. On March 19, the Saudi government went to the U.N.’s Human Rights Council in Geneva to announce that it will accept the vast majority of changes the U.N.’s monitoring body recommended in October after a routine review. Among the most eye-catching of the kingdom’s promises: the abolition of the notoriously strict guardian system, under which a woman must have a male relative’s permission to marry or travel abroad.
The Saudi announcement in Geneva should be treated with skepticism. We’ve been here before. In 2009, after the kingdom underwent its previous U.N. human-rights review, officials agreed to move toward scrapping the guardian system.