The Community Development Authority (CDA) in Dubai has launched the “Friends for the Rights of the Child” programme during a ceremony to mark World Children’s Day on November 20.
The initiative seeks to promote and spread awareness on human and children’s rights in the UAE. The programme familiarises students with their rights, while advocating for these rights to be upheld in academic institutions and society at large. The programme also trains allies or “friends” of children’s rights to help spread awareness of children’s rights in their workplaces and communities.
Maitha Al Shamsi, Executive Director of CDA’s Human Rights Sector, said: “The Community Development Authority is working to implement the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, launching initiatives and pragmatic plans to advocate for children’s rights across the emirate. Our goal is to create a society in which every child enjoys a dignified and secure life.”
The programme consists of a group of students, 10 to 15 years old, from public and private schools across Dubai, where two supervisors are appointed per school. Its mission is to implement a range of awareness-raising activities that promote a culture that upholds children’s rights inside and outside of school. Each semester, participants focus on one category of rights and direct all their activities and efforts to understanding this right and its implications.
The programme takes its participants through four stages. Children who apply must first pass a series of awareness workshops on children’s rights. They then proceed to organise activities and events inside and outside school. This is followed by field visits to institutions and organisations that support children’s rights. Finally, each participant’s activities are evaluated to determine their progress.
Participants will also receive membership cards for the “The Friends for the Rights of the Child” programme from the Community Development Authority, as well as a certificate of gratitude to each member. The membership also allows them to participate in the authority’s activities, and to avail rewards and gifts dedicated to members of the programme.
The programme has targeted more than 20 public and private schools in Dubai and, in its most recent edition, enlisted more than 5,000 students.