UAE celebrates children's rights today
The Emirati Children's Day was officially adopted on March 15 last year.
On March 15, the UAE celebrates a day dedicated to observe children's rights.
The Emirati Children's Day was officially adopted on March 15 last year, coinciding with the approval of the Child Protection Law 3, popularly called Wadeema law in 2016. The law was passed to protect children from all forms of neglect and exploitation, ill-treatment and any physical and psychological violence.
Khaleej Times spoke to Emirati children asking what the day means to them and how empowered and aware they are about their rights and duties.
Youngest Emirati gymnast Lamia Tariq Malallah, 7, said she knows it is an 'important day' and is celebrated to raise awareness that children too have their rights and that both adults and children should respect and care for each other.
"This day is to provide more awareness about children's rights, to understand and respect children and not to allow them to be bullied or hurt. My message to all other kids is to follow their dreams, and always make not only your family but your country also proud of what you do."
Excited about the day, twelve-year-old Abdallah Wasfi Bashammakh said the Emirati Children's Day is all about focus on a healthy upbringing of children and giving them a conducive environment to flourish. "This is the day to raise awareness on children's rights among everyone so children can grow in a healthy and safe environment. My message would be that we can all come together and build a healthy and safe environment for children in the UAE by giving the appropriate support to them."
Gearing up to display his culture on the children's day, six-year-old Mahdi Khalid Linjawy said: "I am super excited about Emirati Children's Day because it is a day for us children and our rights and responsibilities. I truly feel empowered in my country and I to make it proud one day of my achievements."
Khalid said he will wear his kandura and proudly wave the UAE flag while wishing all his friends and family a very happy Emirati Children's Day."
Maitha Mohammad Alfalasi, 11, said the day makes her feel special and proud, and she would spend her time bonding with her family.
"It's a day which makes me feel special and proud. I plan to go out with my family around my beautiful city, especially to places I've never visited before, to find out more about its history and heritage. I'll also spend the day having fun and then come back to school and share memories about my day with my friends."
Grateful to the UAE government for dedicating a day for children, Mahra Alshehhi said: "I thank Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for creating this beautiful day. It gives us the message that we are important and our entire nation is celebrating us. This day is all about being with my family and enjoying special times. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to celebrate this wonderful day and I feel so proud to belong to my beautiful nation"
To mark the day, the supreme Council for Motherhood has directed all parties in the state, including ministries, local authorities, NGOs, private companies (small and large), municipalities, universities, schools and nurseries, as well as the media and individuals, to carry out activities, competitions and awareness campaigns.
Authorities highlighted the council's keenness to support children through organising relevant programmes and workshops and implementing national motherhood and childhood strategies.
In a speech on the Emirati Children's Day, Reem Abdullah Al Falasi, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Motherhood and Childhood (SCMC), highlighted the council's keenness to support children, through organising relevant programmes and workshops. She said that celebrating the event will highlight the importance of supporting children, according to the values and ethics that the wise leadership is keen to reinforce.
She added that Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak aims to support children and provide them with a safe environment, where they can be raised on good values and ethics.
She noted that Sheikha Fatima ordered the establishment of the Consultative Council for Children in 2018, creating an open platform for children to freely express their desires.