Expat children of Saudi mothers face difficulties in accessing govt services
Children of Saudi mothers in the Kingdom are facing difficulties in accessing public services such as education, health and other government services despite the government’s decision to give them equal treatment at par with Saudis.
There are currently about 750,000 expatriate children with Saudi mothers living in the Kingdom who are denied access to these important services. However, the government has reiterated its pledge to deal with this category of residents and help them in obtaining the public services.
A number of Saudi mothers of non-Saudi sons have complained that some government bodies neglect to provide necessary services like social insurance making it very difficult to survive owing to the lack of a monthly income and to cope with the rising prices of food, housing and other essential commodities.
Dr. Sahaila Zain Al-Abdeen, a member at the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) said, “Some Saudi officials are giving different interpretations of the Cabinet’s decision preventing this section of society from accessing the government services,” adding that the NSHR had received a lot of complaints from this category of residents and had tried to get in touch with high government officials to heed their issues.
Speaking to Arab News she said, “Many non-Saudi sons from Saudi mothers cannot work in the public and private sector and government hospitals refuse to provide them free medical services. We try to help them the best we can as they represent a large section of Saudi society numbering 750,000 according to our records.”
Earlier, the Ministry of Labor had said that it considered non-Saudi sons of Saudi women as Saudis in the Nitaqat system that aims to strengthen Saudization in the labor sector and which would help them gain work in private sector companies. The ministry had also said that expatriate sons of Saudi women can be registered in Saudi public schools as Saudi students, according to local media.
The number of Saudi women married to expatriates has reached 584 in the Makkah region, 543 in Riyadh and 490 in the Eastern province. Approximately 2000 Saudi women married foreigners in 2011 according to a recent statistical report released by the Ministry of Justice.
Many expatriates who were born in the Kingdom believe that marriage to Saudi women is the best way to continue living in the Kingdom by transferring their sponsorship to their Saudi wives.