The Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center launched the second phase of its campaign to protect children from abuse and neglect. The second phase, in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), focuses on governmental schools within Abu Dhabi. This phase builds upon the previous campaign launched in March 2014, and is a continuation for the success achieved in the first phase that targeted all 189 private schools.

The campaign is one of the many joint initiativesbetween both parties that aim to raise the awareness of the children about abuse and neglect. The campaign provides free training for one representative from each of the 444 schools registered withADEC.

The training workshops address many topics including: the concepts of child abuse and neglect; child protection law and criminal law; child victims’ support; identifying risks against children;and how to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

Commenting on the campaign, Dr. Amal Al Qubaisi, Director General of ADEC, pointed out to the vital role that community plays, and more specifically, the roles that schools play in reporting suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. It is the responsibility of the schools to implement preventive procedures,report cases in a timely matter, and cooperate with the competent authorities.

Dr. Al Qubaisi also stressed on the importance of this active and distinguished partnership with the MoI and its effect on organizing efficient initiatives that help to provide a safe educational environment for students. It also reassures community that the educational system is safe and secured;and strengthens community trust in the system as one of the cornerstone of the efforts of protecting children. “Child protection is a shared responsibility. Through this joint effort, we endeavor to provide child protection against all risks both inside of and outside of our schools,” she said.

She also explained that the ADEC will continue to work closely with the MoI’s Child Protection Center via its Child Protection Unit. The ADEC established this unit to coordinate with the MoI to report all suspected cases of child abuse to other competent authorities in the UAE in order to develop policies and procedures and adopt practices that help to foster child protection in schools;to support other concerned parties in order to acquire a general and comprehensive knowledge about the concepts of child protection; and to commit to applying the protection procedures.

Major General Dr. Nasser Lekhrebani Al Nuaimi, Secretary General of the Office of His Highness, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said that the cases involved children receive great attention from the Ministry of Interior which supports the local and international efforts to ensure their protection from any attempt of abuse. This is in line with the directions of Lt. General HH Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and his keenness to establish the UAE as a bright center of civilization, one that is a role model in the region for reinforcing child protection and safety through procedures that ensure strengthening the safety and security of every society.

He noted that the UAE is doing its best in providing protection and security to children as they are the hope of the future. He pointed out that the Higher Committee for Child Protection at the Ministry of Interior is committed to cooperating and partnering with the various relevant organizations within the UAE, because the protection of children is vital to the development of every society.

Major General Al Nuaimi also explained that the training workshops are especially important because they are done in cooperation and coordination with the entity that deals with children the most, ADEC, in order to realize the goals of both the educational and security ecosystems. The workshops also aim toprotect our children from abuse and negligence, and to provide physical and mental health resources for them. He called on everyone to continue their efforts for developing the means of protecting and educating our students and their safety.

Major Dr. Mohammed Khalifa Al Ali, Director of the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center, reviewed the efforts of the Ministry of Interior in protecting children. He referred to the international and national perspectives of child protection, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior’s Child Protection Center in setting public policies and strategic plans for child protection, and following-up and supervising the process of investigation in the crimes committed against children. The Center additionally follows-up on the implementation and development of the laws and regulations related to crimes committed against children, in coordination with the competent and specialized authorities, and follows-up on their execution through the dimensions that were identified in the field of child protection – of which consist of 14 dimensions.

He stated that these workshops aim to spread the necessary awareness to ensure security, safety and protection to every child within in the UAE. He stressed the importance of collaborating and working with the organizations and entities that have direct relationships with children, as they have a great role in realizing protection and safety to children, which is the main goal and purpose of our wise leadership.

He called for solidarity and cooperation with the Center in achieving its mission, which is represented in providing security and safety for all children in the UAE, and called for enhancing the efforts in all the awareness activities fields that serve the hoped for aspirations in child protection.

During the two-day workshop, social specialists are trained and educated in: the cases and types of child abuse; how to report cases of child abuse through the appropriate channels; ways of combat bullying, child abuse, and all types of negligence or violence that could potentially negatively impact the child.

DrAmer Al Kindi, Director of Healthcare Department in the Council and member of the Higher Committee for Child Protection, spoke about the importance of these training workshops in providing all schools with the necessary tools, knowledge, and skills to help them in combating child abuse and cases of neglect. They are essential to helping participants learn how to handle such cases, how to identify the signs and symptoms of those cases as early as possible, and how to inform the competent authorities. He also noted the importance of providing the necessary training programs for all schools to show them how abuse and negligence cases are investigated -whether it was at school, at home, or on the street- and how to treat or deal with them.
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