The Kingdom of Bahrain has made major strides in enhancing and protecting child rights, providing them with health, educational and social care and developing their talent and cognitive skills within an integrated system of legislative and judicial policies and programmes.
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These policies and programmes guarantee the rights of children and society, within the comprehensive development march spearheaded by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and supported by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
Marking the “World Children’s Day 2020”, observed worldwide every November 20, the kingdom has every right to be proud of its civilisational record and modern legislation aimed at protecting children rights, as reflected in Article (5) of the Constitution which stipulates that the State “protects them [children] from exploitation and safeguards them against moral, physical and spiritual neglect”.
This is consistent with the kingdom’s accession to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in 1991, and its two Optional Protocols on restricting the involvement of children in military conflicts, and prohibiting the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography in 2004, as part of its ratification of more than 30 international human rights conventions.
Law 37/2012 promulgating the Child Law, Law 19/ 2017 with respect to the promulgation of the Family Law and Law 17/ 2015 concerning Protection against Domestic Violence are among the main legislative tools adopted by Bahrain to ensure full protection for children in Bahrain.
The Legislative Branch is currently discussing a draft-law on correctional justice for children and their protection from ill-treatment. The bill stipulates the establishment of correctional justice courts, regulation of alternative punishment or protective measures for children, including their involvement in training, rehabilitational and educational programmes.
The Labour and Social Development Ministry’s Child Protection Centre also plays a major role in protecting children from neglect and ill-treatment, as well as in providing a toll-free hotline to receive their complaints.
Regarding the academic and cognitive levels, Bahrain has strengthened its Arab leading position in providing education for all within the countries with a high index according to “UNESCO”, and in raising the percentage of children’s enrollment in the basic and secondary education to 100%.
Bahrain has also succeed in ensuring the sustainability of the educational process remotely through the educational portal, digital educational content and televised lessons broadcast on the sports channel during the exceptional circumstances created by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), which was praised by HM the King through his fatherly message to Bahraini students during the “BeAware” TV programme on April 12, 2020, to motivate them to continue studying despite the spread of the pandemic.
The Kingdom, under the leadership of HM King Hamad, is determined to continue its pioneering achievements in protecting children’s rights, providing them with the right health and educational services, and developing their personality, talent and creative abilities, in accordance with the National Childhood Strategy, the Government Action Plan and the Economic Vision for Bahrain 2030.
The kingdom’s achievements in the field of child care have earned it a prestigious global reputation, as reflected in its membership in the Human Rights Council and the Committee on the Rights of the Child, as well as its ranking 45th globally among the countries with very high human development according to the 2019 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report.
Bahrain was also ranked first Arab country in the Human Capital Index according to the World Bank’s 2018 report, and eighth in the world in the category of Human Capital according to the World Economic Forum 2020.
The kingdom continues to achieve the sustainable development goals, after its success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule.
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