Saturday 15 May 2021 - 12:46:07 am

Sharjah supports efforts for children’s rights in a digital world

SHARJAH, 27th March, 2021 (WAM) -- The emirate of Sharjah, an active stakeholder in supporting the efforts of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) for an international standard for children’s rights in a digital world, has welcomed the recent adoption of the groundbreaking General Comment (GC) No. 25, which protects the rights of children in digital environments.

Under the auspices of the Sharjah Child Friendly Office (SCFO), an affiliate of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah (SCFA), 20 children from the emirate, representing different age groups and nationalities, took part in the global consultations for UNCRC during the drafting phase of GC No. 25. The outcomes of this consultative session - held in 2019 and organised by SCFO, in collaboration with UNICEF Gulf Area Office, were considered in the drafting process of the General Comment, which aims to provide guidance to authorities and nations on the realisation of children’s rights in the digital environment.

UNCRC has engaged with more than 700 children and young people worldwide, as it drafts the General Comment, to ensure that their views and concerns as digital citizens in the modern world are at the centre of this important discussion.

To mark its contribution in this vital child rights framework, SCFO participated in a global virtual event to celebrate the announcement of the General Comment No. 25. The event was hosted by 5Rights Foundation, which formed a steering group comprising 40 nation states, hundreds of organisations, and 50 dedicated experts from 27 countries to assist in drafting the General Comment.

The foundation also produced a global video campaign depicting children around the world, to explain the concept of General Comment No. 25 in their own words. Two young people from Sharjah, who had participated in the 2019 consultative sessions, appear in this video campaign, where they discuss their right to have a safer and more inclusive internet.

Dr. Hesa Al Ghazal, Executive Director of SCFO, emphasised that the opportunity provided to children in the emirate to participate in the global children’s consultations phase reflects SCFO’s strategic role in consulting with relevant institutions in Sharjah to design and implement targeted strategies and programmes that strengthen and safeguard the rights of children and youth, and enhance their safety and wellbeing.

WAM/Tariq alfaham