Development of national childhood strategy

19 Jan 2011

 For the first time in the Kingdom of Bahrain, a National Childhood Strategy will be finalized that will ensure Bahrain’s sustainable development by addressing the rights of children and their access to healthcare, education and protection mechanisms, as well as their participation in decisions affecting them.

A press conference was held yesterday by the Minister of Social Development and the UN Resident Coordinator to inform the local press of developments on the National Childhood Strategy prepared under a joint UNDP/UNICEF/Ministry of Social Development initiative. The National Childhood Committee is playing a leading role in preparation of this Strategy. The Project will focus not only on finalization of the National Childhood Strategy for the Kingdom of Bahrain, but also on an action plan for its implementation

H.E. Dr. Fatima Al Balooshi informed reporters that 47 percent of the population is below the age of 18 and ensuring the rights of this segment of society is an important task for the government. “The National Childhood Committee has placed Bahrain’s children as one of its priorities based on the Constitution and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Bahrain is a signatory” she said.

Also speaking at the press conference, Mr. Aqa explained that “all government and non-government stakeholders, academia, and above all children themselves, worked cooperatively in putting together this national strategy that will be finalized and launched within the coming two months.” He stressed the need for this Strategy saying: “A quick glance at the UNICEF’s statistics reveals that the number of Arab children will reach a staggering number of 680 million in 2050. This, no doubt, requires proactive regional and national planning to cope with.”

Mr. Aqa thanked the members and heads of the thematic groups, the parents of children who participated in the focus group sessions, NGOs, the Ministry of Social Development, the National Childhood Committee, and UNICEF.