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UAE reiterates commitment to protecting childhood

posted on 19/10/2006: 709 views

New York- "The UAE has enacted new laws and took necessary measures to ensure the protection of children's interests and rights through signing relevant regional and international treaties on and creating special bodies to implement provisions and the recommendations of international conferences on those issues", said Maryam Al Shamsi, Member of the UAE Delegation to the UN.

Addressing the United Nations Third Committee on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of The Child yesterday, Al Shamsi said "the Higher Council for Childhood and Motherhood, chaired by Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, is but one major step by the government to advance children's wellbeing, follow up on motherhood and childhood affairs and to provide educational, social and health support."

The UAE also took measures to ensure the protection of the rights of national and non-national children. Last year, a federal law was enacted by President H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan banning the use of underage male and female jockeys in camel races.

Al Shamsi cited recent reports by UNICEF which said "more than 1000 children have been successfully repatriated to their countries of origin, and the majority of children who were smuggled into the UAE have been reunited with their families." "Very strict enforcement measures have been taken by the UAE government and concerned authorities to also combat all forms of trafficking children into the country trafficking into the country."

The UAE committed itself to shoulder the responsibility children whose families could not be located and they will be fully supported to live in dignity in the UAE, she noted. Al Sahmsi also cited facts and figures which show the UAE has made remarkable progress in the protection of children. Among those are:

1. Reducing mortality of infants and children under five to 8 per one thousand (One of the lowest rates world wide). Immunization of 95% of children against common diseases. Eliminations of polio in 2002.

2. Achieving 86% rate of enrolment in elementary schools for both sexes, as indicated in the 2005 UN HD report.

3. Providing necessary social care for orphans and children of unknown parents.

4. Giving full support and the best care and rehabilitation services to disabled children and those with special needs.

5. Establishing child care centres to protect and assist abused or neglected children as well as specialized centres for the reformation of delinquents in accordance with latest methods of rehabilitation to help reintegrate them within the general social life.

Al Shamsi also expressed the UAE's deep concern about the tragic humanitarian and security conditions under which Palestinian children live, where they suffer from Israeli violence and destruction, death and maiming, displacement, poverty and dangerous diseases. This, Al Shamsi said, contravenes international human laws and represents flagrant violation of basic human rights declared by international instruments and laws. She also urged the international community to double its efforts to compel Israel to stop its hostile policy and respect the principles and provisions of the international human law, especially the fourth Geneva. (Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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