Riyadh forum focuses on children’s rights

The forum paved the way for debate on how to improve children’s lives and ensure their enjoyment of all the rights.

The Family Affairs Council of Saudi Arabia recently organized the third Children’s Forum under the title “Our future is in our hands” in the capital Riyadh.

UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area Eltayeb Adam and a number of experts attended the forum at the King Salman Theater in Riyadh Schools.

The forum focused on educating children about their rights, shaping their identity, highlighting their achievements and discussing the societal changes facing them.

Hilah Al-Mekirsh, secretary-general of the Family Affairs Council, said: “Over the past four years, the council has worked to examine the needs of the family and prepare strategies to meet their requirements.

“Great hopes are pinned on the children of this ambitious nation to achieve the Vision 2030 objectives, whose themes focus on building a vibrant society, strong roots, fulfilling lives and firm foundations.”

The forum paved the way for debate on how to improve children’s lives and ensure their enjoyment of all the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Al-Mekirsh said that promoting children’s national and Islamic identity served as a foundation for helping them face modern challenges.

In her speech, Dr. Shirin Al-Awfi, chairwoman of the children’s committee at the council, discussed the importance of the country’s youth, who comprise 24 percent of the population and who constitute a most valuable resource.

Children’s experts Dr. Fatima Al-Shehri, Kareena Al-Naqqash and Dr. Nada Al-Wadaani addressed ways to promote children’s well-being and harmonize their needs with the roles of parents, schools and the larger society. In the critical phase of adolescence, they added, it is important to help youths develop healthy emotional and social habits.

The Children’s Forum provided an opportunity for talented children, including local, regional and international award winners, to discuss their achievements in sports, arts and technology, as well as the factors that enabled them to succeed.