(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Presents The Sharjah Principles; says millions of children hosted by Mena
Sharjah: All refugee children and adolescents have to be protected from violence abuse and exploitation including child labour and should have access to national systems and services delivered in a protective way including health and psychosocial support stated the ‘Investing in the Future’ conference which concluded yesterday at Al Jawaher Reception and Convention Centre Sharjah.
His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah; Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan Minister of Culture Youth and Community Development and Antonio Guterres at Investing in the Future conference in Sharjah. — Wam
Introducing the main outcome of the conference Antonio Guterres United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that half of the world’s refugees are children millions of whom are located in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) due to the long-standing traditions of hospitality and humanitarianism in Islam including the principle of asylum (‘aman’).
Recalling that refugee children have special needs and vulnerabilities that must be addressed within the wider context of forced displacement he stressed on the serious impact of armed conflict on children who are at particular risk of abuse exploitation violence and discrimination.
During this presentation titled ‘The Sharjah Principles’ Guterres said that while both girls and boys face similar risks they also experience protection risks specific to their gender that need to be appropriately addressed. He added that refugee children and their families are highly resilient and the importance of harnessing the capacity of children to participate in decisions affecting their well-being and protection needs to be recognised. He reiterated that the protection of refugee children is primarily the responsibility of states and noted the supporting role of international organisations non-governmental organisations and civil society.
He added that all refugee children and adolescents should enjoy their right to family unity and be protected from family separation and should enjoy their right to quality education in a safe environment supportive of their developmental needs.
Guterres drew attention to the role of aid inherent in the region. “I know that the countries that are supporting refugees in the region are doing that in the best of Islamic tradition and law” he said.
In conclusion he called for “massive financial support” for the countries are hosting refugees.