The Ministry of Interior organized an awareness majlis in Al Zaab in Abu Dhabi, under the theme “Raising community members’ awareness on child abuse prevention and exploring the issue of domestic violence”. Participants in the council called for intensified awareness-raising campaigns for housewives, to be conducted by a specialized women’s team from the Ministry of Interior. Such campaigns would target women within their homes, councils, and women groups, in order to acquaint them with the concepts of child protection and the risks that children may encounter. They also called for flexible and reduced work hours for women, to increase the number of hours spent with their children and thus raise them in a better way.

Participants in the council also stressed the need to strengthen efforts to prevent child abuse, address the issue of domestic violence, and intensify awareness-raising societal programs starting from the family and school.

The council was moderated by media figure Saeed Abdul from Dubai Media. Speakers at the council agreed that child abuse is a negative and dangerous social problem that needs to be addressed in every way possible, due to its devastating consequences that have important effects on the child's future and cause broader harm or cost to society as a whole.

In his address at the council, Brigadier Najim Abdullah Al Hosani, Head of the Social Support Centers Department at Abu Dhabi Police and Deputy Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, gave an overview of the establishment of the Social Support Centers in 2005; and noted the growing number of centers that provide their police services at the countrywide level.

Adding further, Brigadier Al Hosani confirmed that early intervention contributes to reducing and preventing child abuse and domestic violence, which is the priority goal of the Social Support Centers Department. “The Social Support Centers Department undertakes a community-based specialized role, and conducts studies and researches to determine the seriousness of a problem; identify factors that contribute to the problem, introduce the optimal ways to handle it; and provide health and psychological care for this category,” he said.

For his part, Major Dr. Mohammed Khalifa Al Ali, Director of the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre, tackled the goals of the Centre. He said: “The MoI’s Child Protection Center endeavors to prepare, implement and organize several initiatives and projects to enhance security, safety and protection of all children living in the UAE.”  

He also noted that the centre strives to protect children living across the UAE, and assumes a wide array of tasks and duties, such as educating community members through awareness courses and lectures and protecting children from dangers and abuse.

He added that in line with the annual initiative adopted by the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, April of every year has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month. He also noted that children are the real wealth of the country. “They make the present flourish and the future rests upon their sleeves, therefore we must position them as our utmost priority in terms of care and attention. We must provide every child with a safe environment where they are comfortable and able to forge a constructive and benevolent character, one that is eager to serve their community,” he said.

Dr. Salem Al Dhuhouri, a Forensic Doctor at the Forensic Evidence Department of Abu Dhabi Police, highlighted the negative effects that have produced violence against children. He also explained that the advances in technology are being utilized by some people in a negative and harmful way, which requires strengthening efforts to protect children against risks.

Towards the end of the Council, Brigadier Najim Abdullah Al Hosani, Director of the Social Support Centers Department of Abu Dhabi Police and Deputy Chairman of the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior, offered a commemorative shield to Ahmed Jumaa Al Zaabi, Deputy Minister of Presidential Affairs, in the presence of Major Dr. Mohammed Khalifa Al Ali, Director of the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Centre,  along with a number of  experts from the General Secretariat of the Office of H.H. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and a number of citizens.
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