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UAE: Human Rights Association’s new intitiave on child rights

The agreement focuses on developing policies that maintain child rights

Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
Mohammad Al Kaabi, Chairman Emirates Human Rights Association (right) with Veronica Yates, Director, Child Rights International Network exchanging documents after the partnership agreement in Abu Dhabi yesterday.
Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Emirates Human Rights Association (EHRA) and Child Rights International Network (CRIN) yesterday signed their first partnership agreement in Abu Dhabi on protecting children’s rights.

The agreement highlights the importance of promoting and enhancing awareness on implementation of child rights convention in the Gulf and Yemen, for the child’s best interest, encompassing exchange of expertise, holding workshops and trainings, developing activities and educational advocacy programmes, sharing knowledge, as well as disseminating and publishing information.

Mohammad Al Kaabi, chairman of the Emirates Human Rights Association, explained how the UAE is very keen on adopting initiatives and systems that are in favour of serving the children.

“Despite Emirati children being privileged under UAE child protection law, we still want what’s best for them in all aspects, and aim to focus on violence against children, whether domestic violence at home or in school. However this doesn’t just apply to Emirati children, but all the children living in the UAE,” said Al Kaabi.

The agreement between EHRA and CRIN will be implemented in 2017 by initiating and developing policies and programmes that maintain child rights.

“We’re also working with designated entities, associations and organisations on setting up and introducing programmes that educate children about their rights,” he added.

CRIN supports national and local organisations to undertake children’s rights advocacy programmes and campaigns, depending on their needs, said a representative from the network.

“We’re here to join efforts, collaborate and work with national associations on adopting policies that guarantee children their rights and curb violations against them. We will hold activities, training and workshops related to child rights, depending on the needs of the national institutions and look forward to exchange expertise and share knowledge on best practice related to child rights in the Gulf and Yemen,” said Veronica Yates, director of CRIN, adding “we are focusing on Yemen because children are being recruited and trained in combat and conflict.”

CRIN presents studies and research on international child rights justice system.

“We identify gaps in the legislations related to child rights in various countries, and offer suggestions and recommendations for improving their implementation, and aspire that the UAE works on improving its laws related to child rights and violence against children,” she said.

Yates pointed out that the network approaches government entities with reports and training guides for review and amendments, before publishing.

Annual seminars will be held to identify and review emerging child rights issues in the Gulf and on ways to adopt best practices.

EHRA was founded in 2006, with the purpose of disseminating and promoting the standards of human rights and rule of law in the UAE.

EHRA is a member of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights and has more than 500 Emirati and foreign members.

Child Rights International Network (CRIN) is a global children’s rights advocacy network, established in the UK in 1995.

CRIN supports the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and child rights and works with nearly 3,000 organisations across the world, on exchanging and sharing information and knowledge and promoting advocacy programmes on children’s rights.

It is also a member of the International NGO Council on Violence Against Children.

— Asma Samir is an Abu Dhabi-based journalist