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Society is obligated to protect children’s rights

Draft federal law seeking to ensure their well-being and development is a step in the right direction

Gulf News

The vulnerability of small children creates a special demand on society to protect them from harm. The natural trust a child has in his or her parents and family elders is something to cherish. The innocence of a child’s early years is an essential start to any human being’s life.

Yet many children risk losing these fundamental human assets as the people around them fail in their duties. Sometimes parents are unable to offer the right support, either thought their own ignorance or through some tragedy which hits them. Society and the government should be ready to step in to help in these cases, which frequently require very sensitive treatment so that the children involved do not suffer too much and hold onto their hopes for a fulfiling future. But what is unforgivable is when a child’s trust is deliberately abused. This is why it was important that the UAE Cabinet passed the draft federal law on children’s rights, and made absolutely clear that children have a legal right to decent protection and proper nurturing.

High Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, summed up the intention of the new law when he said: “Every child has a right to have a safe life, constant care, and emotional and psychological stability. There will be no leniency with people who violate the rights of children — they are the future”.

He went on to say that “the interests of children and their needs must take precedence over anything. Their right is a duty, and it is our responsibility to cooperate and achieve it”.