Dubai to Set up Human Rights Centre in 2010

DUBAI — A centre to raise awareness about human rights among the public will be established by the Dubai government next year, a top police officer said at a gathering to mark the International Human Rights Day on Thursday.

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Fri 11 Dec 2009, 11:56 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:28 AM

The Dubai Human Rights Village will be a rights education centre and it will open in 2010.

Dr Sultan Al Jamal, Director of Human Trafficking Crimes Monitoring Centre of Dubai Police, said awareness among citizens and residents about what human rights are and what they mean is lacking. “The articles that constitute the Declaration of International Human Rights are unknown to many people.”

“The UAE needs to improve in creating awareness and only after that, we can address other issues,” Al Jamal said during a panel discussion at The Shelter in Dubai.

It will be divided into five domes that will introduce human rights to visitors. The public will be able to navigate and enquire about protection laws and government services.

The domes will focus on the rights — birth, health, food and water, education and cultural rights. Each area will have classroom where workshops and lectures will be conducted. A challenge room will enable discussions on key human rights issues. The location of the centre has not been decided but Al Jamal said they are still in the planning phase and will be finalised by next month.

Residents believe that the government has taken various steps in the last few years to prevent human rights violations but awareness is still low among the masses.

“We have some problem, especially when it comes to labourers, but I think the country is taking steps in the right direction,” said Emirati student Noor AlKhaja.

For a young country, Al Jamal said the UAE has managed to ensure the protection of many human rights and its human trafficking initiatives have become an example for other Arab countries. The UAE was also praised by UN officials recently for the progress it had made in child rights protection but had been told to strengthen measures and undertake integrated strategies to combat issues.

The director said the onus of creating awareness to avoid crimes such as trafficking and abuse lies with schools and universities as well.

“The contents in the universal declaration of human rights must be taught as a subject in schools,” he said. Along with education, one must be able to take action for change. “People have to be brave and fight for their rights.”

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