Children are our futureJuvenile rights put under microscope [Archives:2004/718/Culture]

March 8 2004

By Fahmia Al-Fotih
For The Yemen Times

The ministry of Human Rights and Save The Children Sweden (SCS) held a workshop on March 3 to discuss the situation of juveniles in Yemen.
Taking place in the headquarters of the Ministry of Human Rights, the meeting had Ms. Amat Al-Aleem al-Soswaa, Minister of Human Rights, head the workshop.
Al-Soswaa said, “It is not exaggerated to say that children are half of the nation at the present and children are all of our future which we dream about. Family, state, school and media are all responsible institutions to care, educate, protect children. So protecting children is a national duty and human and religious responsibility. Official and international organizations are also responsible to take care of this weak sector, and they have to positively direct them to the right way to benefit and invest them as productive power to build the society.”
She also said “It becomes remarkable that juveniles delinquents becomes a phenomenon and considerably increases in our country that may be convert to serious problem in future.”
The Yemeni minister said that the country has to seek to implement the Child Rights Conventions (CRC) that Yemen has signed and ratified as well as the law of juveniles.
“We also have to take part in rehabilitation the juvenile to keep the solidity of the family and give them a hand to take the right way. Finally, I call for establishing information unit to provide the concerned bodies with reality of this phenomenon and its negatives.”
Radda Barnen, the SCS representative, said “It is my pleasure to be here with you to discuss and share our experiences and concerns about children situation in general and the situation of children conflict with the law in particular from human rights perspectives.”
She further said “Awareness of child protection as human rights issue paved the road for several achievements to take place in legislations and implementations sides. However, there are some important steps to go further need to be taken. In addition, several steps should be taken to ensure that implementation of the law do not violate child rights for protection.”
She also said “I am glad that establishment of juvenile centers have taken place in some of the governorates and we hope that will be extended to cover all Yemen. Children in prisons is still one of the challenges that needs to be taken into the agenda of the government and civil society organizations because of its impact on the innocent children who become victims of violations”
She concluded, “Improvement would not happen by itself, collaboration and coordination of the efforts between all actors can maximize the impact on those children lives. And this gathering is the proof that we could work together to promote those children rights on prevention, protection, and rehabilitation.”
Lana AL-Sharabi, the a manager in the human rights ministry, displayed the general report that resulted from field visits for a number of juveniles' centers in various governorates (Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, Hodeida and Ibb).
Consequently, the door of discussion was opened to participants to comment on and enrich the report with their suggestions.