Al-Amal Conducts a Workshop to review Childhood Protection Policy in Iraq
Iraqi Al-Amal Association conducted a workshop to review Childhood Protection Policy in Iraq supported by UNICEF and in conjunction with the general secretariat of the council of ministers and the Child Welfare Authority in Iraq and with participation of representatives of the ministry of health, education and interior for social police, and from the ministry of labor and social affairs, culture, planning and civil society organisations for Madarik foundation and media. The workshop was conducted for five days in Beirut during the period of 10-14 December 2016.
The workshop and reformulation included many subjects in addition to amending formulation that were addressed some of which are the concepts and principles of protecting children in sector policies and child protection system introduction included its framework, parties and components of protection environment elements. Child protection mechanisms and systems prototypes were addressed from several countries some of them are the child protection policy in institutions (Lebanon experience) and violence in the educational sector (Palestine experience) and general principles to an executive work plan in the educational sector. The framework of the guidance concepts of child protection from violence was addressed and the legal study comparing legislation with child rights convention (Lebanon experience). The hotlines: principles, standards and mechanisms of operating in Jordan experience were addressed and general principles for the uptime plan in psycho-social support for children.
Different subjects and results from policy were discussed and included within the risk management and leadership and concerned parties in addition to discussing its mechanisms and necessary steps to implement them and ensure their match with the international standards and agreements and laws accredited by Iraq in this field. The six results included by the policy had the following titles:
Result 1: protecting children through legislative framework and policies that re-enforce their rights and treat their needs fully which coincides with the international standards.
Result 2: safe living for the children within supporting families and local communities that re-enforce their rights protection and guaranteeing their growth to achieve their maximum potentials.
Result 3: Children and families obtaining enough support before risks happen to re-enforce that safety of children and early intervention. protecting children from hazardous factors, neglect, exploitation and abuse.
Result 4: Children who were exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation should obtain support and care they need to re-enforce their welfare and facilitate their re-settlement in their communities.
Result 5: Support availability and safe environment to live for the children affected by conflict and exploited to participate in it and affected by displacement within their families and communities that they live in.
Result 6: a complete system to monitor and report child protection issues should exist.
Participators in the workshop spoke of it, one of them is Dr. Abeer Al-Chalabi the general director of the special needs directorate and head of child welfare authority office said that the workshop was important in the process of correcting goals with politics the trainer (doctor) had a big role in that and the audience with their expertise had a role in re-enforcing goals and results which includes child protection. As for the next movement after reformulation of the policy in its final form it will be accredited by the general secretariat of the council of ministers and announce it through a conference with UNICEF. Mr. Abdul Muttalib head of the public policies coordination department in the general secretariat of the council of ministers said that the workshop added solid expertise by the expert Ellie Michael for his being an expert in comparison child protection policies whether it is in Lebanon or any Arab country while the next step is to work on accrediting and approving the policy and then put an executive plan that include the programs and projects and that the importance of the subject comes from that the child is the base in the structure of the society and for the special conditions that the society is undergoing that endangered many children with different risks and it needs concentrated efforts to treat them as well as the Iraqi government pays a great deal of attention in this part. Dr. Ellie Michael said that the workshop targeted in addition to reviewing and enhancing the childhood protection policy is to give scientific background about different aspects of the policy in addition to address successful experiences that Iraq can deduct inspiration from. The audience was vastly informed with Iraqi reality and was open to discuss actively the different aspects of politics.
Dr. Widad Al-Qaisi Adviser to the Council of State said that the workshop was very beneficial and gave information of different countries experiences and in Iraq there is development in some laws but we face problems in executing laws for instance we have a law to care for minors numbered 76 of year 1983 and for the child welfare authority there is a law that we hope it would be legislated and is currently in the Cabinet Secretariat and there is the child law that is studies by the Council of State and we are waiting that its procedures to pass it for legislation is complete and there is protection against family violence act that was scrutinized in the council of state and passed to parliament and we hope it will be legislated with mechanisms of execution and we need specialized staff and trained to interact as well as these laws and regulations need financial allocations to execute them.
After discussions many alterations were made to the articles included by the above mentioned results and other subjects were discussed during the workshop some are the general principles for the prevention of school dropouts and local protection committees (Palestine – Sudan experience) and addressing the unified executive procedures for child protection in several countries.
On the fifth day a conclusion discussion was made to address all that was discussed in the workshop and reformulation of the policy to its final form was made according to the alterations suggested in the workshop and presented to the general secretariat of the council of ministers in order to present them to the cabinet secretariat to study and accredit them. The workshop ended on 14th December 2016.