Foreign Ministry Holds Panel Discussion on UN Convention on the Rights of the Child Anniversary

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Department of Human Rights, held a panel discussion on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, entitled “Convention on the Rights of the Child and the reality, achievements and priorities for the promotion of children’s rights in the State of Qatar”, in cooperation with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Doha, and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs and Doha International Family Institute (DIFI).

The panel discussion, which was held at the Diplomatic Club, was attended by a number of specialists, experts and officials from various sectors concerned with child and family affairs and legal experts.

In his opening speech, HE Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, affirmed that the organization of this celebration comes within the framework of the increasing attention paid by the State to childhood and its issues, and in implementation of UN General Assembly resolution 73/301 on inviting States to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child,

His Excellency pointed out that the State of Qatar has joined the voluntary global convention designed to recognize solidarity on the principles set forth in the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Convention.

His Excellency pointed out that the promotion and protection of human rights, including children’s rights, is a strategic choice for the State of Qatar, and it is the backbone of the State’s comprehensive reform policy, of which human development and the protection and promotion of human rights are the top priorities.

His Excellency added that this was emphasized in Qatar National Vision 2030, the first National Development Strategy 2011-2016 and the Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022, which included important themes that touch on key human rights issues in the areas of education, health, environment, migrant labor rights, women’s empowerment and children’s rights.

His Excellency pointed out to the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar and the provisions related to the family, motherhood and childhood, including what is stipulated in Article 21 that the family is the foundation of society, based on religion, morality and patriotism, and the law shall regulate the means to protect it, strengthen its existence, its ties and preserve maternity, childhood and elderly.

His Excellency added that the Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar and related legislation have guaranteed the right of the child to health, education, social and economic care and comprehensive protection from various forms of violence and exploitation.

HE the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted the huge achievements witnessed by the State in recent decades in the field of building and spreading the primary health care network and maternal and child health care centers, and this has helped to provide health services to the entire population of the country, as well as the expansion of education in all stages to make it accessible to all children.

His Excellency said that the State of Qatar has achieved an improvement in lifestyles and more forms of economic and social well-being for all segments of society, and these achievements reflected a significant and positive development in the indicators of childhood and motherhood, most notably the low level of child mortality, the high enrollment rates in all educational levels for both sexes, and the high level of social welfare services.

For his part, the Head of UNICEF – Doha Office Anthony MacDonald, thanked the State of Qatar for all its efforts in the promotion and maintenance of the rights of women and children, describing the opening of the UNICEF office in Doha as a historic event, stressing that this is an indication of the distinguished partnership between Qatar and the Organization.

Anthony pointed to the importance of this celebration, given its attachment to the field of children’s rights, especially with the successive developments and major changes that the world has witnessed for three decades, and this also included children, requiring the need to protect the child, communicate his voice and focus on the family that is the primary custodian of the child.

The Head of the UNICEF Doha Office noted the achievements of the State of Qatar in this field, pointing to investment in childhood, stressing that this is what the State of Qatar has focused and which was translated into tangible results on the ground.

He praised the development achieved by the State of Qatar in this area, and its national vision 2030 to focus on this aspect, as well as all legislation, laws, initiatives and strategies developed by the State in all sectors, which indicates the importance attached by Qatar to children in particular and the family in general.

He stressed in the same context that governments should emulate the country experience by investing in children to provide them with a decent life, stressing that it is difficult to achieve sustainable development without focusing on these values.

In her intervention during the panel discussion, the Head of Human Rights Treaties Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hanadi Al Shafei, addressed the nature and features of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the State of Qatar’s provisions related to the Convention, as well as the achievements of the State of Qatar in this regard.

She pointed out that the growing international interest in the field of family and children’s rights began with the end of the first World War, and because of its consequences, there is increasing interest in the development of a system to ensure human rights in general and in particular the most vulnerable and needy groups such as children and persons with disabilities and the elderly.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Administrative Development’s Najat Duham Al Abdullah discussed the strategy of the ministry related to children. She also discussed the Qatari family law and highlighted the state’s commitment to families in the legislations they undertake. She reviewed the laws issued by the state in the field of the right of children as well as initiatives such as the establishment of the National Committee for Woman, Child, Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Affairs.

She pointed to Qatar National Vision 2030 and what the vision seeks to achieve by building a social system based on justice and equality to provide its members with an appropriate income and a decent life in accordance with the Constitution, in addition to the development of a sound social structure that is active and strong. Al Abdullah said that the social protection department of the ministry places a strategy that prioritizes these goals. She also addressed the empowerment of children and orphans and raising the level of protection against violence and achieving family cohesion.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education’s Dr Hamda Hassan Al Sulaiti discussed in detail the guarantees provided by the constitution and the principles of Qatar National Vision 2030 of good education that will guarantee children high quality care regardless of their gender, race, nationality, religion, or color. She noted that education in Qatar focuses on the importance of respecting all cultures.

For her part, Chief Executive of the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) Dr. Sharifa Al Emadi addressed during the session the report of the Institute on the welfare of children in GCC States, focusing on the results related to the State of Qatar. She also talked about the role of the Institute in conducting studies and preparing reports that have a role and contribution in the development of legislation and laws to achieve the well-being of the family and children.

She also reviewed the methodology used in preparing the report, which focused on the information and the reality of the well-being of the child, speaking about the concept of well-being and its difference from one community to another due to the nature of the society and its description of the concept. She noted that the report measures indicators related to the society under examination and the associated policies and programs connected to those indicators.

She also reviewed the statistics and figures concluded by the report relating to the State of Qatar, noting that legislation, laws and programs should be molded according to data, figures and statistics. Al Emadi added that legislation and laws should be guided by the results of the report in order to achieve national goals in the field of child welfare. Al Emadi pointed out the challenges facing these goals, including domestic abuse, divorce, parental separation and family disintegration.

The session concluded with remarks from Assistant Director of Programs and Education at the National Human Rights Committee Aisha Al Hanzab. She addressed the Committee’s attention to the rights of the child and ensure the child’s access to all his rights and provide protection as stipulated in the Constitution and laws, by means of achieving this.

She also reviewed child-related articles that guaranteed child protection, including the Compulsory Education Act, equality in education between males and females, and the prohibition of corporal punishment of children.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs