Labor, trafficking and violence are their enemiesChildren draw their concerns [Archives:2005/842/Local News]

May 16 2005

SANA'A- May 8- A good number of children, males and females, gathered together on Sunday, May 8, at al-Sab'een Park to show people their concerns and hardships.

The event was organized by Shawtheb Foundation for Children (SFC) and sponsored by the UNICEF Child Fund the Higher Council for Motherhood and Childhood.

The event was attended by a host of officials including Jalal Faqirah, Deputy Ministry of Education for the Training Sector, Nour Ba Abbad, Deputy Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor for Care Sector, Mr. Nasim al-Rahman, UNICEF Communication Officer and representatives of the civil community organizations and donors.

At the beginning of the activity, speeches were delivered all of which underscored the importance of giving children their rights and the risk of maltreating them. Mr. Nasim al-Rahman said it was significant that people rally for the sake of children because “children have no political party to have their voiced heard.” He revealed shocking figures about child labor in Yemen. “There are over 400 child laborers in Yemen and over 13 million in the Arab world.”

Mrs. Maryam Ibrahim, SFC Executive Manager, mentioned that unless we pay attention to children, they would end up as misanthropists.

Then many kids from different social categories including the marginalized and the disabled gave vent to their feelings and perception of violence against them in the world.

In a free discussion between them and a specialist, they expressed their views on violence and child trafficking .

“Violence against children is like what is happening in Palestine,” one child said. “Child trafficking is to be outside your home and, while your parents are chewing qat, somebody comes and abducts you,” another said.

Later, many kids got involved in a workshop making and coloring drawings.

“I could not have imagined their ingenuity in drawing. I am really surprised at the cuteness of their ideas,” Mrs. Maryam pointed out.

Children as well as their parents were active and responsive at the initiative which involved many sides such as the Miriad Society, Girl Orphanage, al-Rahmah Orphanage, public schools, street children and the physically handicapped. Everyone contributed their own point of view and parents and attendants were happy.

A next step of this initiative comprises field visits to the provinces of Hodeidah, Hajja, Mahweet and Aden to record statements of trafficked children regarding their experience. The compiled data is to be published in a book.