Children and Youth discuss needs and rights with SBFO

  • Tuesday 09, July 2019 03:20 PM
Sharjah 24: The Sharjah Baby Friendly Office (SBFO), the official entity tasked with the implementation of the Sharjah Child Friendly City project, recently organised a forum for children and youth to express their opinions and aspirations on their needs, rights and how to sustain their city’s ‘child-friendly’ status.
The full-day interactive forum was held at the Sharjah Girl Guides (SGG) headquarters. Moderated by 17-year-old Shamsa Al Naqbi and 14-year-old Mayed Al Mur, along with Essam Ali, Social Policy Specialist at UNICEF Gulf Area Office, the session shed light on several aspects that impact the daily lives of children and youth. Education, family and social life, games and entertainment, arts and media, were among the topics discussed.

Participants were also tasked with defining children’s rights, and identifying what their cities need in order to be truly child-friendly.

The forum hosted 50 children and youth representing Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services, Sharjah Girl Guides, Sharjah Youth, and Sharjah Children. Other participants comprised students from the International School of Creative Science (ISCS) who were part of the urban planning Minecraft workshop that was organised by SBFO and Sharjah Urban Planning Council last April.

The outcomes of the forum will inform Sharjah’s participation in the first Child Friendly Cities Global Summit (CFCGS) set to take place in Cologne, Germany, next October, where the emirate will be represented by an official delegation from SBFO, as well as a youth delegation represented by Shamsa Al Naqbi and Mayed Al Mur.

Dr. Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SBFO, said: “The child and youth forum has enabled us to really listen to what this segment of our society has to say about their rights, and what they need to flourish in their city. As a UNICEF-recognised child-friendly city, Sharjah will present these opinions and viewpoints as recommendations and concrete suggestions at the Child-Friendly Cities Summit in Germany, in addition to showcasing Sharjah’s experience in promoting child rights, protection and wellbeing, and exploring international best practices,” she added.

In April 2019, Shamsa Al Naqbi and Mayed Al Mur accompanied the SBFO team to the UNICEF-organised Meeting of Child and Youth Advisory Board Members in Madrid. They joined a host of youth from 12 countries to ensure that the children and young people from UNICEF-recognised Child Friendly Cities are given the opportunity to share and express their opinions and remarks on the priorities that must be addressed in the Child Friendly Cities Global Summit’s agenda.