Saif bin Zayed briefed on ECA’s efforts in protecting children

November 29, 2023 / 10:37 PM
Sharjah24 – WAM: Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, assessed the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority's child protection and care endeavors. He tackled prominent projects, such as the Children’s House initiative and the Child Protection Program's "Stay safe," rolled out last October.
This occurred during Sheikh Saif’s visit to the Authority's Abu Dhabi headquarters, where he was welcomed by Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Office of Development and Martyrs Families Affairs at the Presidential Court, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority. Also present were Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior, and Sana Mohamed Suhail, Director General of the Authority.

The team updated Sheikh Saif bin Zayed on collaboration opportunities between the Authority and the Ministry of Interior’s Center for Child Protection. The goal is to fortify the child protection system, ensuring safeguarding against violence, abuse, and neglect. Stressing the importance of cooperation, he called for improving the quality of children’s digital lives. He emphasized positive technology use and artificial intelligence techniques to maximize care and protection, particularly for children in difficult circumstances, exposed to abuse, neglect, or dangers, necessitating safe shelter.

The Minister reiterated that protecting and caring for children ranks high among government leadership priorities. He commended the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority and partners for creating a unified framework covering management, prevention, early intervention, reporting, and awareness in the child protection system. This includes efforts to enhance the quality and efficiency of services, ensure professional availability, and meet the needs of young children.

In response, Sheikh Theyab praised Sheikh Saif's commitment to child protection. He highlighted strategies to prevent abuse and neglect, improve the skills of social support workers, and accredit them as specialists. This ensures law enforcement, supports providing protection for children in risky situations, and enhances social responsibility for the well-being and development of children.

Sheikh Saif further emphasised that protecting children and providing a safe, supportive environment is crucial for planning and building the future. Focusing on the present, he stressed the need to prepare, empower, and develop children, requiring redoubled efforts and unified actions to make children a permanent focus of attention and planning.

Their Highnesses witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Interior and the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority on child protection in the UAE. The agreement aims to enhance joint cooperation, raise awareness, and maintain communication for common interests, improving implementation standards and practices in child protection. The memorandum was signed by Major General Khalifa Hareb Al Khaili and Sanaa Muhammad Suhail, Director General of the Authority.

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority is actively working to strengthen the child protection system, covering prevention to rehabilitation. The focus includes developing capabilities of partners and workers, engaging parents and community members to support children's needs and well-being. This involves promoting positive behaviors benefiting children, enhancing their growth and capabilities, and designing processes for policy and legislation development related to early childhood development. The proactive strategy, based on participation and scientific evidence, has a strong possibility of implementation and application on the ground.

Launched in 2011, the Ministry of Interior's Child Protection Center specializes in bolstering child protection through pioneering initiatives. Key projects, like the 116111 child protection hotline, streamline reporting of child abuse via phone, utilizing the Ministry’s Center for Child Protection website's electronic reporting process. The "Hemayati" app on Android and iOS further exemplifies their technical initiatives. The Center actively develops, implements, and codifies procedures for ensuring safety, security, and protection for all children in the UAE, including visitors. Periodic awareness campaigns, such as "Together to Prevent Child Abuse," aim to educate the community on various forms of child abuse, conducting seminars, courses, and media campaigns for parents, teachers, and those working with children to reduce incidents.
November 29, 2023 / 10:37 PM

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