"The UAE has always and continues to embrace children. Since its union was founded 46 years ago, the UAE has offered great attention to children as they are considered one of the inherent values of the Emirati society, thus, providing them with leading education and healthcare, the fundamentals of establishing a developed, harmonious and safe society," Sheikha Fatima said in a booklet released by the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, on the occasion. The guidebook was developed to help entities plan their initiatives and activities as per the rights of children as listed under UAE law.
The date was chosen to coincide with the Child Protection Law, 'Wadeema Law' coming into force on March 15th, 2016. The Day is celebrated to fortify the UAE's commitments towards the rights of all children, both nationals and expatriates, Sheikha Fatima said.
Emirati Children’s Day aims to highlight the nation’s vision and keenness to raise future generations and overcome all challenges that prevent them from becoming model community members, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and its centennial 2071.
Sheikha Fatima said, ''Children are the future; therefore, we must ensure their prosperous upbringing from all perspectives, health-wise, socially and culturally. We strongly believe that caring for and raising children is the utmost priority for a prosperous society. There is a relative link between the progress of a nation and the extent of concern for its children and their successful upbringing in the most appropriate way.
Our inspiration is derived from the vision and guidance of the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He continuously assured us of children’s fundamental status in UAE’s social development.
"We stress our keenness towards childcare in accordance to a coherent vision that focuses on children’s intellectual and social progress and healthcare, inspiring a meaningful social and cultural environment; thus, constantly developing in children the essence of creativity, excellence and innovation. Our ambitions for our children include but are not limited to academic success, the supremacy of talent, attainment of righteous and constructive friendships, and a prosperous future."
Through the Day, the UAE seeks to empower children and reinforce their awareness on their rights and responsibilities towards their families, communities and at national levels; instil respect for pluralism, tolerance, acceptance and solidarity once they comprehend their rights and responsibilities, and to build a happy, socially and economically engaged generation.
The celebrations will feature activities, initiatives, programmes, competitions and awareness campaigns on children’s rights at the local and national level. Seminars, conferences, workshops and media programmes will be held to highlight children’s issues and rights. Stakeholders will also launch relative initiatives and policies.