Engaging youth and promoting their meaningful participation to advance child rights

Workshop attended by nearly 80 youth from universities in the United Arab Emirates

Lina Y. Elkurd
Speakers and participants on Zoom during the workshop
Sherpem Sherpa
02 February 2021

The Big Hearth Foundation and UNICEF co-hosted the 'Children and Young People for Child Rights and Protection' workshop on 2 February 2021.  Nearly 80 youth from universities in the United Arab Emirates attended the virtual meeting to promote meaningful child and youth participation to advance children's rights.

UNICEF received several questions from children and young people before the event,  including about UNICEF's challenges when providing necessities for children refugees and internally displaced and protecting the rights of a child. 

To maximize interactivity, the hosts consulted a representative group of young people ahead of the workshop. Throughout the sessions, the speakers covered various topics such as; the concept of child rights and human rights, emerging issues of child protection and mental health online, and children in conflict and refuge.

"UNICEF welcomes all opportunities to engage and nurture partnerships with children and young people. Especially when it comes to issues like online abuse and mental health, they are part of the solution," said Saji Thomas, Chief of Child Protection at UNICEF Gulf Area Office.

"Children and young people have a significant role to play in making their communities welcoming for their migrant peers," said Teona Aslanishvili, Child Protection Specialist at UNICEF MENA regional office. "Understanding migrant peers' background and aspirations break down the barriers between the host community and migrant children and young people. It complements the steps that governments can take to address discrimination and xenophobia against migrants".

Given the level of participation and interest from the young people, UNICEF and TBHF plan to organize similar workshops and events.