New strategy for child safety in Sharjah endorsed

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Shaikha Jawaher stresses on comprehensive, evidence based programmes .

SHARJAH: A community’s advancement is measured by the extent to which it provides care to all segments of society, particularly children, said Her Highness Shaikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi on Saturday.

“We must stand by [children], safeguard their rights and protect their consciousness, paving their way for a future that befits their dreams and society’s aspirations,” said the Chairperson of Sharjah’s Supreme Council for Family Affairs and wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

Shaikha Jawaher bint Mohammed pointed out that community developments require joint and effective child safety strategies, emphasising that Sharjah’s approach towards their safety and wellbeing champions strong partnerships with individuals and entities, and is focused on policymaking that supports children’s mental, physical and emotional health and development.

Specialised requirement

Her remarks come as an endorsement of the Child Safety Department, CSD, strategy for the year 2020-2021.

The new strategy focuses on advancing strategic partnerships with child safety entities, achieving institutional excellence through workflow development, in addition to improving governance and internal processes.

Shaikha Jawaher noted, “Human life continues to undergo tremendous transformation every day, which renders traditional childcare approaches incapable of resolving modern-day challenges. More efforts are needed, as is a higher level of cooperation and planning, to enable policies and strategies to stay abreast of the rapid shifts in communities and ensure full protection of children’s rights.”

“Working with children to develop their talents and emotions, and instilling in them an appreciation of art, culture, ethics and a sense of belonging requires professional expertise and specialisation,” she added.

Her Highness explained that such expertise and specialisation is necessary, “particularly because the relationship with new generations, who have just begun to explore the world, is more specialised and demanding than any other field in which experts and professionals engage.

Focus on individuals

“In the UAE, and the emirate of Sharjah, the individual is the central focus of all development policies and programmes adopted and launched by our wise leadership,” Her Highness continued. “The continuity of our achievements can only be ensured through better integration of the efforts of government institutions, private entities, universities, schools and parents. All these components which make up our society must be in agreement on a clear mechanism to protect children from all that could put their security, safety and development at risk,” Her Highness stressed.

CSD’s strategy is aligned with the vision of national childcare institutions, and also supports the UAE Centennial 2071 Plan that aims to enhance the soft power, ethics, talents and creativity of future generations.

The strategy also supports institutional efforts that strive to develop innovative services and initiatives with a maximum positive impact on children and their families, in addition to building skills and professional capabilities that are needed to raise awareness on child safety and protection.

Child Safety Strategy for 2020-21

The CSD 2020-2021 strategy includes designing evidence-based programmes and awareness activities that target children, parents, childcare providers and experts. It will also focus on signing memoranda of understanding and agreements on child safety with partner institutions.

It further emphasises the importance of working closely with families, educators and childcare experts to achieve effective and sustainable results in tackling pressing social issues like bullying, cyberbullying, and abuse against children in general.

A key focus area for CSD will be engaging parents and community members more actively in their child rights and safety awareness efforts and also boost cooperation among Sharjah’s government bodies that share CSD’s goals.

The strategy represents a clear roadmap of integrated and collaborative efforts to implement child safety initiatives that are perfectly aligned with Sharjah’s vision. It will also look into organising joint projects and endeavours to reach all members of the community.