We have no law to protect children
Saud Al-Balawi; 7/7/09; (2 Items)
The case of Raziah, a young Afghan girl living in the Kingdom, is vividly in our minds. The poor girl was kidnapped by an Egyptian resident in Madinah who molested her and violated her innocence. For four years, he sexually abused her although she was no more than 10. The man was caught by the security forces in Madinah and is now awaiting trial. Although the case is one that involves a clear violation of children’s rights, it is not being considered under a special law protecting children. Rather, it is being looked at like any other crime. The criminal might be beheaded if he is convicted but this will not negate the Saudi need for special legislation to protect children against all crimes, the foremost of which is allowing very young girls to marry.
Youths from across the world call for greater respect of children’s rights
As Jordanian youths performed dances calling for greater respect of children’s rights, teenagers from across the world on Monday expressed hope for a future “free from violence and injustice”. In the opening of the 29th International Arab Children’s Congress (IACC), delegations representing Arab, Islamic and European countries marched to the tunes of the Jordan Armed Forces Music Corps at the Roman Amphitheatre yesterday in order to promote cultural dialogue. Organised by the King Hussein Foundation’s National Centre for Culture and Performing Arts (PAC), the weeklong event, held under the patronage of Her Majesty Queen Noor, opened under the theme, “The Right to Protection… Whose Responsibility?” This year’s IACC seeks to encourage children from different cultures and backgrounds to exchange views on the impact of violence, pollution and the global economic crisis as well as the negative effects of war on children’s rights and safety. “We have set our minds on this slogan because we wish to move a step forward taking us from awareness to accountability for those who abuse children physically and psychologically,” PAC Director General Lina Attel said on Monday at the opening ceremony. She noted that as children and youths are the “future of the world”, work must focus on enacting laws and legislations that protect them from all forms of violence, including the atrocities of wars and conflicts.