Riyadh: Domestic violence against children is on the rise in Saudi Arabia, according to the latest figures released by the Saudi National Human Rights Society.

"Nearly 45 per cent of children in the Kingdom are facing some sort of abuse and domestic violence," the group pointed out.

It also circulated findings of a study among participants of a function organised during the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of the UN Human Rights Convention.

Several prominent human rights activists, including representative of Amnesty International, and members of the society attended the function, held at Jeddah Westin Hotel on Monday.

During the meeting, Amal Khalifa, representative of Amnesty, chaired an open dialogue session among the participants focusing on their view points about child abuse, various forms of domestic violence and the solutions to contain this issue.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Abdul Muatani, general supervisor of National Human Rights Society in Makkah region, said that the society has prepared a comprehensive awareness programme in this respect.

He sought the cooperation of all those concerned in implementing the agenda in the near future.

The society carried out the study with the supervision of the Security Supervisor at the Ministry of Interior Dr Sultan Al Anqari. According to the study, Riyadh tops with 51 per cent of cases of violence against children and the percentage of cases in Jeddah was put at 20.

The study noted that cases of child abuse are high in random districts in major cities with a 55 per cent while they are the lowest in posh districts with only five per cent.

In other districts, the percentage of child abuse is 31, the study pointed out.

Nearly 70 per cent of children are subjected to violence of some sorts from their parents, who are illiterate while it is 24 per cent as far as parents with an elementary school certificate are concerned.

There are very few cases concerning the highly qualified parents.

The overwhelming majority of victims in domestic violence cases are girls, with a whopping percentage of 78 whereas the case of boys accounts for 21.6 per cent.

Earlier reports suggest that a new law is being drafted to protect women and children against domestic violence in the Kingdom.