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UAE city of Sharjah reaffirms ‘children’s right to play’

Image: Farrah Zakir

Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO) has launched the ‘Children’s Right to Play’ social media campaign, which also marked Emirati Children’s Day on 15 March.

The SCFO is an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah, UAE, which is marking the occasion under the theme ‘Right to Play’ to educate members of the community about the importance of play for children. This is in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in alignment with the country’s Child Rights Law (Wadeema), reports Emirates News Agency.

SCFO’s competition is aimed at encouraging children to share their understanding and experience of playing through posting original creative videos on social media. SCFO will accept submissions until the end of March, and winners will receive valuable prizes.

To be eligible for the competition, participants need to provide parental consent, record a 30-second video and share it on TikTok, using the official hashtags for the Emirati Children’s Day, and follow @sharjahchildfriendly on social media platforms.

SCFO had previously organised a meeting of 50 individuals representing 35 entities and departments in Sharjah to coordinate their Emirati Children’s Day celebrations by highlighting Sharjah’s child- and youth-friendly elements through unified messaging and content, which will be posted on social media platforms.

We reaffirm our commitment to advancing the standard of children’s rights across Sharjah and the UAE

Dr Hessa Khalfan Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, said: “Children’s rights are indivisible; children cannot be given some of their rights and be deprived of others. Play is a fundamental right that every child should enjoy, as it is vital to both psychological and physical development. It is also key to discovering and unleashing talents and capabilities and gaining essential life skills.”

Highlighting Sharjah’s achievements relating to children’s rights, Dr Al Ghazal said, “In 2018, the emirate received the prestigious Child Friendly City title by UNICEF, after meeting all the requirements of its global Child Friendly Cities Initiative. These achievements drive us to continue to develop children’s rights practices and ensure their sustainability. On Emirati Children’s Day, we reaffirm our commitment to advancing the standard of children’s rights across Sharjah and the UAE.”

SCFO launched their awareness campaign through a promotional video, which depicts children in prominent destinations and child-friendly locations in Sharjah. The video highlights the importance of play and the participation of parents and family members to safeguard children’s rights to play.

Sharjah is part of UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Initiative – click here for more information.

Author: Simon Weedy

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