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ECA condemns child abuse video, reiterates UAE’s commitment to child rights

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, ECA, condemned a video that recently went viral on social media, showing a mother abusing her daughter, and described the incident as an awful crime, contravening the good moral values of the Emirati society.

“This behaviour runs contrary to foundations of social life, values and authentic traditions of the Emirati people,” said an ECA statement issued to Emirates News Agency, WAM, on Thursday.

The ECA gives top priority to the welfare of children and their care and development. Responsible for creating a high-quality early childhood development system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the ECA focuses on children’s health and nutrition, protection, family support, and early care and education.

The authority commended the speedy actions taken by the relevant authorities to arrest the accused mother and referring her to the Public Prosecution for necessary action. The authority also praised the police’s outstanding role in following up all issues, protecting the society, and preserving its security and stability.

“Early childhood is the cornerstone to invest in the development of present generations and empowerment of human resources to keep pace with the progress and prosperity of achieved by the country. Thus, all members of society must responsibly work together to address children’s issues and support government efforts aimed at upgrading the care and support system for this important segment,” the ECA statement emphasised.

“The UAE continuously seeks to develop legislative framework and employ the best global potential and resources to create a healthy, safe and stable life for children. In addition to preventing abuse, assault and negligence against children, the country is also keen on providing decent living conditions to them, ensuring their physical growth and behavioural development,” the ECA stressed.

Meanwhile, the ECA warned against child abuse and mistreatment. Children’s exposure to violence, assault and negligence, especially during their early childhood from birth until the age of eight, negatively affects their physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development, the authority pointed out.

Abuse causes a strain on the family and the overall community with regard to their rehabilitation and reintegration into society. Moreover, committing such acts against a child causes serious psychological problems for the child, their family and surroundings.

The ECA highlighted the tremendous efforts made by the UAE to resolve family disputes. These efforts include establishing specialised entities and institutions for protecting family, preserve rights of all parties, and reduce the impact of these disputes on the family members.

Those entities’ mission is to resolve family disputes, ensure they receive the necessary support and enjoy better living conditions, and help parties overcome their difficulties and obstacles.

As part of Abu Dhabi Government’s efforts to enhance child protection system, ensure rehabilitation of children, and improve the complementarity of family support programmes, the ECA affirms its cooperation with partners in the public and private sectors to create a stable and safe family environment, to protect children from any harm or danger.

The ECA was established in July under Law No. 21 of 2019, issued by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

It is mainly responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for early childhood development in the Emirate, reviewing and evaluating relevant policies and programmes in coordination with the entities concerned, and proposing legislation, policies and regulations in this regard.

The Early Childhood Authority is tasked with managing and implementing all matters related to early childhood, as well as coordinating and collaborating with the relevant entities to enable them to create and implement plans for developing programmes and providing services for children in their first years of life.