Supporting the development of the national childhood strategy and the national strategy for persons with disabilities for the Kingdom of Bahrain

09 Jun 2010

The Ministry of Social Development and UNDP signed a project document today to develop two national strategies; the National Childhood Strategy and the National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities. The agreement, which comes as a result of thorough discussions with different stakeholders, including government and non-government institutions, was signed by H.E. Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi, Minister of Social Development and Mr. Sayed Aqa, UNDP Resident Representative in Bahrain at a formal ceremony at the Ministry of Social Development premises. Also present at the signing ceremony were representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Finance.

On the occasion, Mr. Aqa congratulated the government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for signing the Conventions on the Rights of Child, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Mr. Aqa stated that “this project is a clear indication of the commitment of the government of Bahrain to further the implementation of the Kingdom’s obligations towards these two important human rights related conventions”. He added that “Disability NGOs and NGOs working on Childhood issues will be actively involved throughout the development of both these strategies. The Childhood strategy will be developed in close collaboration with UNICEF while all other relevant UN agencies, including the UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights, will support the development of strategy for persons with disabilities.”

H.E. Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi stated that “the fundamental purpose of the two Strategies will be to improve the promotion and protection of human rights of persons with disabilities and of children in Bahrain”. Such a project will provide guidance limited not only to government, but to the non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private sector, professional groups, educators, advocates and other members of civil society regarding the priorities that need to be accomplished to ensure that the human rights of persons with disabilities and children are effectively observed and realized.

According to the terms of the agreement, UNDP and the Ministry will co-finance the project to a total cost of USD380,000. It is planned that both strategies will be finalized by March 2011.