Child Safety Department webinar offers parents practical tools to guarantee their children’s wellbeing

Parents, teachers, and childcare professionals attend expert talk
held in collaboration with Emirate Child Protection Association

For immediate release
Sharjah, August 17, 2020

The Child Safety Department (CSD) in Sharjah recently organised a webinar in collaboration with the Emirates Child Protection Association to educate parents, teachers and childcare workers in the UAE on child safety issues and offer them key tools and resources to ensure the well-being of their children.

The session focused on children’s rights and shined light on what child safety means, who are the key stakeholders responsible for guaranteeing it and the types of abuse children are at risk of facing today.

More than 265 parents, teachers and child care professionals attended the webinar, which was presented by Mouza Al Shoumy, Deputy Head of Emirates Child Protection Association, and moderated by Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, Director of CSD, an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah.

Al Shoumy elaborated on the definition of childhood as recognised by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and ratified by the UAE, that classifies any human being below the age of 18 years as a child. She lauded the efforts of the UAE government in protecting child rights and safeguarding children against abuse and exploitation.

The session included a UNICEF-approved exercise to differentiate children’s rights from their needs. Al Shoumy also heightened awareness in the session’s attendees on the UAE Wadeema’s Law, which was passed in 2016 and introduced six new articles to the UAE’s child protection laws to safeguard their fundamental rights and prohibit their exposure to any physical or psychological harm.

The audience was educated on the different types of abuse that a child might face, including emotional, physical and sexual. Highlighting that several commonly practiced ways of disciplining by parents often lead to violating children’s rights as a result of negative criticism, neglect, ridicule or public shaming, the child rights expert offered attendees practical tips on ways to guide children without harming them physically or psychologically, or affecting their dignity or self-esteem.

Al Shoumy noted that parental attention towards their kids was critical to their wellbeing as negligence could have grave consequences, including children accidentally falling to their death from balconies or windows, drowning in pools or in the sea, domestic violence, suffocation in vehicles, and sexual abuse.

The session was live streamed through Zoom video conferencing and is available for view on the Child Safety Department’s social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter (@childsafetyuae).