Participants at the Ramadan Legal Council, organized yesterday in Sharjah by the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, stated that legislators in the UAE were pioneers in creating a legal environment providing legislative protection for children through a number of constitutional texts and regulations.
They emphasized that the State has provided various means to care for all children through legislation and by enacting laws that suit children’s nature; adding that the legislation and state laws include many provisions related to children. They also emphasized the State’s keenness to join the international conventions on children’s rights.
The Ramadan Council, which included participation of several members of the Federal National Council; Major General Hamid Mohammed Al Hadidi, Commander in Chief of Sharjah Police, as well as a number of scientists, guests of His Highness, President of the UAE; tackled issues of international legislative protection of children and their rights, as well as the protection provided for them by the Emirati legislation, and the role of family in child protection, by educating them on their rights and how to protect themselves.
Major General Hamid Al Hadidi, Commander in Chief of Sharjah Police, stressed the importance of such councils, which highlight the Ministry of Interior’s keenness to communicate with the public, to educate and inform them in all areas; adding that the State has provided several initiatives that contribute to protect Children’s Rights, as well as projects and programs at the federal and local levels, providing services and decent living for children, such as the Marriage Fund and the Zayed Housing Project, both contributing to family stability.
He pointed out the attention given by the Ministry of Interior to protect children, according to a number of initiatives; referring to the children-oriented security awareness programs implemented at most state schools, providing children with awareness messages that protect them from crime and show them the optimal ways of dealing with people and avoiding bad friends.
For his part, Lt. Colonel Dr. Salah Obeid Al-Ghoul, Director of the Law Respect Culture Bureau at the Ministry of Interior, said that children are the pillar of society, adding that building personalities and shaping their future patterns of behavior depend on childhood; therefore, any effort towards caring for children and protecting them is an essential element to secure the future of the nation and consolidate its civilized achievements, since childhood lays the foundations for any development project.
Moreover, Lt. Colonel Al Ghoul noted that official statistics indicate that half of the country's population is under the age of 15, which highlights the need to care for children and protect them. He pointed out the State’s efforts in promoting the concept of child protection; as an issue worth research and discussion from all legal, religious and social aspects.
Also during the Ramadan Council, Scholar Dr. Omar Faramawi, former Dean of the Islamic Studies Faculty at Al-Azhar University; and Professor of Hadith and its sciences at the University, talked about children's rights in Islamic law. He indicated that the definition of children in Islamic law differs from the definition in positive law.
He noted that Islam has guaranteed children with many rights; notably good education, that will make them good community members, and help them adopt a positive attitude towards society, adding that children’s rights in Islam begin before birth.
Sheikh Naji Rashid Hassan Ali al Arabi, from Bahrain, shed light on the roles played by parents towards their children and the forms of education, stressing that discipline is another form of education, and that children should not be left without education to prevent them from falling prey to delinquency.
Also speaking at the Ramadan Council, were members of the Federal National Council: Salem bin Houaiden, Mosbah Al Ketbi, Ahmed Al Jarwan and Ahmed Al Zaabi. They stressed the importance of increasing awareness on children’s rights in society at all levels, highlighting the many roles played by the Council to protect children by enacting legislation and laws related to children.
The Ramadan Council also included participation of a number of lawyers and legislators. Judge Ahmed Al Mullah, Advisor Mohammed Al Hammadi, Dr. Mohammed Butti Al Shamsi, and lawyer Zayed Al Shamsi, explained international and domestic laws related to children, as well as the achievements of the State in protecting and caring for children. They also noted that federal laws include several texts on child protection, as a deterrent for anyone who dares violate children’s rights.
They stressed that the State provided various means to care for children through legislation and by enacting laws that suit children’s nature. These laws imposed sanctions on parents or persons assigned to child care, who fail to provide the necessary care to children. They added that the Personal Status Law in the UAE provides children with many rights, such as the right to lineage, the right to custody as well the right to protection from any form of abuse.
The Ramadan Council also included participation from a number of Youth Centers’ representatives from Sharjah. Ahmed Suleiman Al Hammadi, Director General of Youth Centers General Department discussed the role of these centers in rehabilitating young people, as well as encouraging them to adopt dialogue, and to express their desires and needs properly, according to the principles of meaningful dialogue.