ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – 12th October 2015
The Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior organized workshop on "Promoting Child Protection Programs", at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Participants in the workshop called for concerted efforts with parents, teachers, mentors, educators, and caregivers to reinforce their culture, self-development and self-education, as well as to improve the culture of dealing with children by implementing the necessary programs to enhance child protection, and finding alternative methods to deal with children and avoid any kind of abuse.
Participants also stressed the need to enforce Article (19/1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates that “States Parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse, while in the care of parent(s), legal guardian(s) or any other person who has the care of the child.”
They emphasized the importance of acquainting community members with the existing smart applications that enable children to report any kind of abuse. They called for adopting effective procedures to establish social programs to provide the necessary support for children and care givers, and other forms of prevention; to identify cases of child abuse; reporting, investigating, handling and following-up on such cases; establishing confidence with children and raising their awareness so that they can report abuse with ease; educating community members about the types of child abuse to allow them to report such cases and ensure early intervention.
Participants also called for conducting further relevant studies and research to determine the extent and causes of the problem, and identify the optimal ways to deal with it. They also stressed the need to provide health and psychological care for this category and their families, and to adopt and implement the laws that guarantee child protection against violence, neglect and exploitation at home or school or other institutions, as well as qualifying highly skilled personnel to interact with childhood problems.
The participants also recommended taking advantage of the collected data and to create continuous data collection mechanisms and comparative indicators. They also called for cementing partnerships with entities that are closely linked to children, such as schools and others institutions; as well as with study and research centers.
Brigadier Najim Abdullah Al Hosani, Head of the Social Support Centers Department at the Ministry of Interior, Deputy Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the workshop. He said that the UAE has made significant efforts to provide full protection to children, by signing and ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the child, and implementing its provisions through appropriate national legislations and by passing the Child Rights Draft law, in keeping with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which the UAE became a signatory in 1996. He said: “The Ministry of Interior has dedicated great attention to dealing with cases of abuse against children with full transparency and positivity in order to fight various types of such abuse, and bringing offenders to justice.”
“The ministry has endeavored to build effective and strong partnerships with the authorities that support child protection, in order to address the various types and causes of child abuse, and propose the best solutions and prevention programs for the protection of children, through partnership with national and international institutions and concerned entities,” he added.
Brigadier Al Hosani added that children abuse is not a recent social phenomenon but has existed for a long time, and increased sharply in recent years. There are different types of child abuse, it may be physical, psychological or moral, or an attempt against the child’s security, rights and demands.
Brigadier Al Hosani explained that children are an important component of human development; they are the future of every nation, and it is essential that children get full care to meet their needs as they grow into healthy individuals and attain psychological serenity.
Towards the conclusion of his speech, Brigadier Al Hosani expressed his hope for the workshop to achieve its intended goals and come up with recommendations that will be implemented in the form of practical and effective mechanisms, wishing everyone the best of success in the service of the community.
Following the opening speech, the workshop began. Colonel Mohammed Khalifa Al-Hamoudi, head of the Local Coordination Section at the Department of Human Rights, chaired the first session, during which two work papers were discussed; the first presented by Capt. Jamal Abdullah Al Mutawa from the Social Support Centers Department showcasing the efforts made by the Social Support Centers at the Ministry of Interior in the field of child protection. The second paper reviewed the outcomes of a study about child abuse in the UAE society, and was presented by Aisha Al Mujtama, from the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children Care.
Major Dr. Zubaydah Jassim, Women and Children Affairs Branch Manager at the Human Rights Department at the ministry, chaired the brainstorming session, which included formulation of recommendations and mechanisms of implementation.
The workshop was attended by Brigadier Najm Abdullah Al Hosani, Head of the Centers of Social Support Department at the Ministry of Interior, Deputy Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection; Colonel Mohamed Ali Al Shehhi, Deputy Director of Human Rights Department, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Economy; the Abu Dhabi Education Council; the Community Development Authority;, the Centers for Family Development; the Supreme Council for Family Affairs; the Judicial Department in Abu Dhabi; Zayed Foundation for Humanitarian Care and People With Special Needs; the Department of Social Services in Sharjah; Sheikh Khalifa Medical City; and a large number of officers and women working in various police bodies at the police general headquarters across the country.