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Dubai: The will mark today, the annual "Emirati Children’s Day," a national occasion celebrated on March 15 that aims to raise the community’s awareness about children’s rights.

The country is celebrating the occasion, under the theme of 'right to play' to raise the awareness of community members on the importance of play for children.

The UAE has progressed from the stage of caring for children and protecting their basic rights to the stage of empowering future generations and shaping their future.

Since the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the UAE has adopted a series of procedures aimed at protecting children from the risks posed by the spread of the virus while enabling them to enjoy all their basic rights, most notably in education and health.

Under this framework, the country launched awareness campaigns for children and their families, to raise their awareness about the disease and appropriate preventive measures.

The UAE also implemented a remote learning system to help children enjoy their basic right to education in a safe environment, as well as home and drive-through healthcare programmes and telemedicine programmes.

The UAE is continuing its achievements in the area of child protection and is protecting their overall rights. In recent years, the country has issued a comprehensive system of legislations and regulations aimed at protecting children and raising their awareness about their rights.

The UAE issued the "National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood 2017-2021" as a key reference for decision-makers in the national childhood sector. It also adopted the "Children’s Protection Law" (Wadeema), which was issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Sultan Al Nahyan, under the official name, Federal Law No.3 for 2016.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) established the Higher Committee for Child Protection in 2009 and the Child Protection Centre in 2011 to report cases of assault on children. Furthermore, the UAE chaired the Virtual Global Taskforce (VGT) to protect children from online exploitation.

The selection of the UAE as the first Arab country to join the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children is a new recognition of the country’s successful national policies to protect children.

The UAE also adopted a behavioural code for students in the school community comprising several instructions that should be considered in the correction of negative behaviour.

The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, in cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Education and the Department of Education and Knowledge-Abu Dhabi, launched guidelines for parents to protect children against bullying.

The Emirati Children’s Day is an initiative launched by Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, as part of the national strategy for motherhood and childhood and the strategic plan for boosting the rights and development of children with disabilities 2017-2021.