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UAE has taken serious measures to protect rights of children

posted on 19/10/2005: 2113 views



New York - The UAE has said that it had taken a number of measures and promulgated many laws and legislations to protect children and their interest through the family and other related state institutions.



The statement was made in the UAE address, delivered by Mrs. Amna Ali Al Muhairy, Member of the UAE Delegation to the Third Committee, during the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly discussing Item 67 entitled "Promoting and Protecting the Rights of the Child".



Al Muhairy said since the founding of the UAE, the country had followed a development policy which focuses on mankind as the real wealth of the nation and regards its children and youth as the future. She added that in view of this conviction and in order to protect children and prepare them for the future, the UAE had enacted a number of new laws and ratified regional and international conventions on the protection of the rights of the child, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.



She pointed out that the concerned authorities and civil society in the UAE had also demonstrated, within the context of the Islamic traditions and cultural heritage, their commitment to the recommendations of international conferences on children, including those of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which the UAE ratified in 1997.



She cited the measures which the UAE has taken to ensure that the rights of children are well-taken care of.



Following is the full text of the UAE statement delivered by Al Muhairy: Mr. Chairman, At the outset and on behalf of the delegation of the United Arab Emirates, it gives me great pleasure to thank you and the members of your bureau for your valuable efforts in directing the deliberations on this item, and I wish you success.



The delegation of the UAE also wishes to thank H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary General, for his valuable and comprehensive reports on the items of this session, and associates itself with the distinguished representative of Jamaica on his statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.



Mr. Chairman, Since its foundation, the UAE has followed a development policy which focuses on human beings as the real wealth of the nation and regards its children and youth as the future. Proceeding from this conviction and aiming at protecting children and preparing them for the future, the UAE has enacted a number of new laws and acceded to the regional and international conventions on the protection of the rights of the child, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The concerned authorities and civil society in the UAE have also demonstrated, within the context of the Islamic traditions and cultural heritage, their commitment to the recommendations of international conferences on the child including those of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which the UAE has acceded in year 1997.



The UAE's obligation to protect the rights of the child has been translated into various measures, the most important of which include the following: 1- Establishment of health care and medical centres for maternity and childhood all over the country. These centres helped in reducing child mortality in children under 5 to the lowest rates and brought them closer to those in the developed countries. The government has also succeeded through immunization campaigns to eradicate Polio at the end of 2002.



2- Making education compulsory for both sexes in the primary stage, and free for all stages starting from kindergarten to university. The percentage of enrolment in primary school has increased to 83% according to the latest UN report on human development.



3- New laws and legislations were enacted to ensure the safety and protection of children within the family or in national institutions which are concerned with providing care to orphans and abandoned children. New laws were also introduced to protect children from all forms of exploitation, the latest of which is the law which regulates camel races.



This law, issued by H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, President of the State and which prohibits persons under 18 from taking part in these races, provides penalties for violators including fine and imprisonment. On the other side, the UAE authorities have ordered that all children who have been victims of this type of abuse be returned to their home countries to rejoin their families immediately at the UAE's government expense.



Fifty three children were repatriated in 2003 and 23 were returned recently by the UAE authorities in coordination with the UNICEF. Instructions were also issued to air and seaports to prevent entry of children under 15 who come for participating in the camel races organized in the country.



4- Establishment of the High Council for Maternity and Childhood, which aims at advancing standards of care and attention given to mothers and children, especially in the areas targeting their educational, cultural, health and social well being. The Council also aims at strengthening moral values that call for respecting mothers and enhancing their role in the society.



5- Establishment of care centres for handicapped children and children with special needs all over the country in order to provide them with the medical, psychological, social and educational services they need. The centres also provide the children with the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills and knowledge to enable them to integrate with society. Moreover, the government has established rehabilitation centres for providing juveniles and minors with the psychological and social care they need to enable them to integrate with the society in a normal manner.



Mr. Chairman, Convinced that international cooperation is instrumental to the achievement of development, the UAE was keen to participate in the international efforts aiming at achieving this objective. To this end, the UAE has made significant contributions in cash and in kind to the UN agencies concerned with children, and extended direct assistance to developing countries and countries affected by natural disasters and armed conflicts, where children suffer from poverty, illiteracy, violence, displacement, sexual exploitation, trafficking and recruitment in wars, in order to assist these countries in improving their social and economic conditions and creating a world fit for children.



Mr. Chairman, The Palestinian children continue to suffer from tragic humanitarian and security conditions at the occupied Palestinian territories which pose grave threats to their life and future. These conditions, which are due to the continuing attacks, closures and suppressive policies followed by the Israeli occupying forces have resulted in killing and handicapping thousands of children, and spreading poverty and dangerous diseases among them. In this context, we call upon the international community to interfere and to compel Israel to discontinue its aggressive policies and ensure its respect and commitment to the principals and provisions of international humanitarian law including the Geneva 4th convention relating to the treatment of civilians including women and children. Israel has also to ensure its commitment to the implementation of all relevant international resolutions.



In conclusion, we hope our deliberations will help in developing effective means for improving living conditions of children all over the world. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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