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Jawaher opens child protection plan
By Lina Abdel Rahman March 10, 2015
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SHARJAH: With the aim of protecting children and maintaining their rights within the UAE, Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs and wife of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, launched the UAE Network for Child Protection on Monday.

The network will be responsible for ensuring child safety and maintaining the rights of children in the UAE.

The announcement was made during Sheikha Jawaher’s visit to the Protection of Children’s Rights Administration of the Department of Social Services in Sharjah where she was received by its Director General, Afaf Al Marri.

“On this occasion, I am glad to announce the establishment of the UAE Network for Child Protection, which aims to protect children and maintain their rights within the UAE. In order to develop a safe and protective environment for children, we aim to develop the skills and capacities of workers in this field, especially those who work with victims of violence,” said Sheikha Jawaher.

“The establishment of this network strengthens partnerships between various social institutions from the public and private sectors, and enhances the capabilities of their teams to help children who fall victim to violence and abuse, as well as spread awareness of these issues. The network is open for individual and institutional memberships, and it welcomes applications from the public who are willing to influence, as well as institutions working in this field, and everybody who is interested,” added Sheikha Jawaher.

She further noted that society has opened up more than before and is ready to discuss social issues in an attempt to solve them.

“Moreover, the public is ready to seek the help and the advice of others to address problems and arrive at solutions. We hope that Sharjah is an example of progressive development in all aspects specially those related to human affairs, and is in the forefront in spreading awareness to achieve social harmony and stability,” Sheikha Jawaher said.

During her visit Sheikha Jawaher met Aisha Al Ali, Head of the Child Hotline team, who explained the project’s role in dealing with emergency issues, such as physical violence, sexual abuse and negligence.

Al Ali said the hotline had received 2612 calls since its establishment in 2007 till 2014, with the majority of calls being placed by one of the parents (55 per cent), and that children had been harmed in 39.5 per cent of the cases, and added that the team performed 40 urgent interventions in 2014 alone. Al Ali also showcased their application in Android store as well as their online service.

Fatima Al Marzouqi, Psychologist and Director of the Children House presented the Sheikha Jawaher ‘Ishraka’ programme. A first of its kind in the country, the programme utilises therapeutic game in order to rehabilitate victims of sexual abuse from five to 13 years old.

Sheikha Jawaher also met Maryam Al Owais, Social Worker at the Rights Protection Section, and Maryam Ismail, Head of the Weyqqaya Committee, which protects vulnerable segments of society.

Sheikha Jawaher expressed her deep sympathy when she heard some stories during the visit, pointing out that children often end up paying the dearest price when adults face conflict.

“We are sorry to hear such stories in our kind-hearted society, which emphasises the importance of protecting children’s rights, and helping their families overcome difficulties,” she said.

Sheikha Jawaher praised the great attention that Sheikh Sultan extends to family affairs, and said that he is dedicated to finding solutions to social problems.
 

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