06 March 2018

UAE affirms importance of protecting children’s rights


The affirmation was made during the UAE?s speech at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council in the annual meeting for an entire day on “The Protection of Children?s Rights in Humanitarian Cases,” delivered by Mohammed Saleh Al Shamsi, Third Secretary at the UAE Diplomatic Mission in Geneva.

Al Shamsi highlighted the fact that the UAE appreciates the efforts of the UNHCR and supports its strategic approach to promote the protection of children in cases of emergency and it follows a human rights-based approach in the management of humanitarian operations.

Al Shamsi began his speech by welcoming the experts participating in the annual panel discussion aimed at strengthening the understanding of integration between children?s rights and humanitarian assistance, especially filling the gaps between the human rights community to ensure the respect of children?s needs and their rights in humanitarian cases.

In this regard, he pointed to the UNHCR?s statistics for the year 2016 that highlight the fact that children constitute 51 percent of the total number of refugees, including boys and girls who are not accompanied by their parents while they seek protection, fleeing violence or the cruelty of wars and internal conflicts.

He stressed that protection of children alone is not enough if it is not associated with humanitarian aid that enables them to get their basic needs, including food, healthcare and education, and presented the UAE?s endeavours in this area.

He noted that the UAE is exerting additional efforts to provide children who live in deteriorating humanitarian situations with aid through the Dubai Giving campaign. Its goal is to provide one million children suffering from poverty and armed conflicts in Asia and Africa with education. In addition, a partnership between Dubai Giving and the international fund “Education Cannot Wait” is dedicated to children?s education in cases of emergency.

At the end of his speech, Al Shamsi reiterated the UAE?s commitment to this field, as the country has recently pledged to provide US$500,000 to support the fund?s activities in the Rakhine region of Myanmar as well as the launch of programmes in the Caribbean and Pacific islands worth about US$3.5 million to assist countries affected by climate change, which poses obstacles to education in these countries.