Confirmed - UAE’s eagerness to create high-quality early childhood development system

The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) condemned the video that recently went viral on social media showing a mother abusing her daughter, describing the incident as an awful crime contravene the good moral values of the Emirati society. ECA noted this behavior runs contrary to foundations of social life, values and authentic traditions of the Emirati people. 

In this regard, ECA gives top priority to the welfare of children’s care and development in its plans. ECA is responsible for creating a high-quality early childhood development system in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with focus on health and nutrition, child protection, family support, and early care and education. 

“Early childhood is the cornerstone to invest in the development of present generations and empowerment of human resources to keep pace with the progress and prosperity experienced by the country. Thus, all members of society must responsibly work together to address children’s issues and support government efforts aimed at upgrading the care and support system for this important segment,” ECA added. 

“The UAE continuously seeks to develop legislative framework and employ the best global potential and resources to create a healthy, safe and stable life for children. In addition to refusing abuse, assault and negligence against them, the country is also keen on providing decent livelihoods for children, to ensure their physical growth and behavioral development,” ECA indicated. 

Meanwhile, ECA warned against the consequences of child mistreatments and abuse. It further clarified that children’s exposure to violence, assault and negligence, especially during their early childhood from baby is conceived to when he or she reaches eight years, negatively affects their physical, cognitive, language, social and emotional development. This places a strain on the family and society with regard to their rehabilitation and reintegration to society. Moreover, committing such acts against a child causes serious psychological problems, for child, his family and his surroundings.

ECA highlighted the tremendous efforts made by the UAE to resolve family disputes. These efforts include establishing specialized entities and institutions for protecting family, preserve rights of all parties, and reduce the impact of these disputes on the family members. The entities’ mission is to resolve families disputes, ensure they receive the necessary support and enjoy better livelihoods, and help parties overcome difficulties and obstacles facing them. 

As part of Abu Dhabi Government’s efforts to enhance child protection system, ensure rehabilitation of children, and improve the complementarity of family support programs, ECA affirms its cooperation with partners in the public and private sectors to create a stable and safe family environment, to protect children from any harm and danger.

ECA commended the speedy actions taken by the relevant authorities to arrest the accused mother and referring her to the Public Prosecution for necessary action. The authority also praised the security forces’ outstanding role in following up all issues, protecting the society, and preserving its security and stability.

 ECA was established in July under Law No. 21 of 2019, issued by the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his capacity as the Ruler of Abu Dhabi. ECA is mainly responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy for early childhood development in the Emirate, reviewing and evaluating policies and programs related to early childhood in coordination with the relevant entities, and proposing legislation, policies and regulations related to early childhood. Additionally, ECA is tasked with managing and implementing all matters of relevancy to early childhood, as well as coordinating and collaborating with the relevant entities to enable them to create and implement plans for developing programs and providing services for children in their first years of life.

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