Themed ‘My right’, the campaign on the UAE’s child rights law targets the childcare providers in all Dubai schools, to educate them on the various provisions of the law. Image Credit: CDA

Dubai: An educational campaign on the UAE’s Child Rights Law was launched on Tuesday targeting social workers and teachers in Dubai to equip them on what they should do if they notice any signs of abuse or negligence among the children they care for.

Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA) spearheads the campaign together with the Unicef and Dubai Judicial Institute.

With the theme My Right, the campaign targets childcare providers in all Dubai schools to educate them on the provisions of the law while highlighting several cases about child rights protection, abuse and negligence.

The campaign with be conducted in two phases, the first of which is to raise awareness on children’s rights among Dubai schools and health institutions. The second phase of the campaign will be workshops for social workers and childcare providers on the procedures needed to be followed in handling child abuse and negligence cases.

Maitha Al Shamsi, CEO of the Human Rights Sector at CDA, said child protection is everyone’s responsibility.

“Child protection is a special priority in the national agenda of the UAE. Our country is committed to providing a safe environment that ensures serious development for children’s capabilities and talents; we take all the appropriate steps in the areas of health and education and in all fields to keep the psychological, social and cultural needs of children,” Al Shamsi said.

“The Wadeema Law, issued by the UAE Federal Government in 2016, shows that the UAE is keen to find a coherent legal background to ensure that children in the country have all their rights, and to get those who violate or neglect these rights accountable,” she added.

The law, which was named after an Emirati girl who was tortured to death by her father in 2012, has significantly contributed in supporting the childcare providers and strengthened the child protection system in the UAE, in accordance with the local Arabic and Islamic culture.

“With the launch of the Wadeema Law, there has been an improvement in streamlining of child protection procedures in the emirate of Dubai. Once that’s finalised, that will be the second part of the campaign and awareness will be raised about that,” Al Shamsi said.

Dr Essam Ali, Social Policy Specialist at Unicef Gulf Area Office, in his speech emphasised that the idea behind the campaign is to recognise the 30 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

He also said that Unicef is in discussion with authorities to make discussions and events more children-led rather than adult-led, making sure children are more involved in policymaking though children parliaments and others. He said they are also in talks with the UAE to discuss its recommitment to the Child Rights Convention.

The campaign will run until the end of the year. The workshops will also educate the participants about UN Convention on the Rights of the Child that the UAE signed on 1997.