UAE Unveils first National Strategy for Children with Disabilities
Middle East, March 27 2017
ABU DHABI: The UAE Cabinet approved a national strategy to promote the rights of children with disabilities and maximise their well-being, and a strategy for motherhood and childhood, as part of the Strategic Plan for the Rights of Children with Disabilities 2017-2021, and the National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood 2017-2021.
Both Strategies were prepared under the directives of Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, as a key reference for decision makers.
“People with disabilities represent an integral component of UAE’s society and have the right to enjoy a happy and dignified life like other community groups,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. “The UAE attaches special importance to supporting children with disabilities and enabling them to play a constructive and effective role in the development and the achievement of UAE national agenda and vision for 2021,” His Highness added.
The Strategic Plan for the Rights of Children with Disabilities 2017-2021 is derived from the UAE vision 2021, notably the provisions of a long healthy life, an optimal education system and an integrated lifestyle. The plan was developed following a study which involved a number of relevant organisations across the UAE.
The strategic plan aims to provide the best quality medical care and social services to children with disabilities and contribute to their integration into society. It will solidify efforts to support children with disabilities and improve related services and facilities in the country.
The National Strategy for Motherhood and Childhood 2017-2021 was also approved by the Cabinet in line with the government commitment to promote and protect mothers’ and children’s rights.
The first draft of the strategy was prepared based on recommendations included in a study included data on groups of children and adolescents in the areas of health, education and other related issues. The team conducting the study also consulted with forty-five federal and local entities including the Ministry of Health and Prevention, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Community Development, Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Ministry of Education, Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, Abu Dhabi Health Authority, Dubai Health Authority among other international organisations.
The strategy is the first of its kind at the federal level and it represents a national framework for programs and services available to mothers and children to ensure coordination and cooperation among all concerned parties. A national task force will be set up to develop action plans and coordinate the implementation of the strategy and its initiatives.