Abu Dhabi: Children and experts on Sunday met reporters in an Abu Dhabi workshop designed to make it easier for the media to highlight issues facing children online and safeguard their rights while covering stories.
The Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood organised the workshop titled ‘Childhood-friendly media’ aiming to spread awareness about children’s rights as per a recommendation from the Arab Childhood Committee of the Arab League.
The three-day event is hosting experts in children’s issues, government officials and journalists to discuss children’s major problems, particularly with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing more children being exposed to electronic devices and social media platforms.
Al Reem Abdullah Al Falasi, secretary-general of the council, said the workshop also provides a chance for children to be close with journalists to share their ideas and aspirations.
‘Highlighting children’s cases’
“Gathering children, experts and journalists on one platform to exchange ideas fosters a better understanding of how to deal with children’s cases, to improve their lives. We believe journalists have a mission to highlight children’s cases and problems in order for them to live more safely in their countries,” Al Falasi said in her keynote at the event.
Dr Haifa Abu Ghazala, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League and director of social affairs sector, honoured the council in a ceremony for receiving an award for the family-friendly institutes for 2020. She said: “The workshops will help address violations against children by the media as there is an absence of child protection mechanisms in the media. We want our media to spread awareness about children’s rights amid the major changes that we are witnessing in the Arab region.”
The Children Hemaya Centre at Ministry of Interior received an award for friendly Arab family entity of 2021, presented by the Arab League, for its efforts in protecting the family during the pandemic.
Use of ‘Hemayati’ app
Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Rahman Al Timimi, director of the centre said: “This is a recognition of the efforts to protect the children and families as part of our strategy to enhance the security of the society and provide a safe and friendly environment for children and families.”
The ministry used the latest technologies such as the ‘Hemayati’ app to receive child abuse reports in a confidential manner before transferring the report to the concerned police teams.
“The application has a list of laws and legislations related to children’s rights and protection and can be used by children, parents, doctors and teachers,” Lt Col Al Timimi said.
The ministry said that they have many channels to report child abuse, such as by calling 116111 or +97123333999 and visiting the ministry’s website.