Arab Child Day [Archives:1997/41/Last Page]
Yasser Ismail, Yemen Times
Celebrating the Arab Child Day, the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs, in cooperation with the Mother and Child Care Society, organized a cultural event on Tuesday October 10th. Attended by the Minister of Social Affairs and many other officials from the ministries of Education and Culture, and the UNICEF, the ceremony included speeches delivered by the representative of the Mother and Child Care Society, Ms. Fat’hia M. Abduallh, the representative of Yemeni NGOs, Dr. Mohammed Al-Adhi, and others. Beautiful songs were performed by children from Al-Nahdha, Al-Manar, Al-Majd, and the Deaf and Dumb schools as well as children from the kindergarten of the Yemeni Women’s Union. When the Rights of the Child Convention was signed by Yemen, along with 67 other countries, a special council was established in 1991 to take care of childhood issues. Two seminars were also held to bring childhood issues to the forefront of the public attention. The first seminar dealt with encouraging private investments in the field of child care and education. The crucial issue of child labor was the subject of a 3-day seminar organized by the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training.
“The most important thing about such events is to stress the government’s commitment to according its utmost attention to childhood issues,” said Mr. Ali Saleh Abdullah, the Deputy Minister of Insurance and Social Affairs. He announced that “the government will look into a report on children’s conditions in Yemen and the necessary steps needed to remedy some of the childhood problems.”
When asked about the role of NGOs in this field, Mr. Abdullah commented that “since the government and other official bodies are not able to tackle childhood issues alone, NGO participation and cooperation is invaluable.” The private sector’s role, however, is still somewhat limited. “That is why we held a special seminar on encouraging private investments in the field of child care.” The celebratory ceremony was concluded with a speech by the Minister of Insurance and Social Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Batani in which he emphasized his ministry’s “concern and readiness to provide all possible support for the children of Yemen.” ý