As part of the ongoing efforts to safeguard the rights of children and protect them from abuse and exploitation, the Higher Committee of Kanaf, a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary, multi-agency child protection centre that provides prompt legal, psychological, and social support to child victims of physical and sexual abuse, discussed the operations strategy and the progress made in finalising its headquarters to ensure more flexibility in procedures and help supporting children through their psychological and physical recovery and to secure comprehensive protection in cooperation with various partners from relevant authorities.
The first Higher Committee meeting, held on Monday, was chaired by Hanadi Al Yafei, Director of the Sharjah Child Safety Department (CSD) and Head of Kanaf’s Higher Committee, and with the attendance of Counselor Anwar Amin Al Harmoudi, Head of Sharjah Public Prosecution; Dr. Mohamed Obaid Al Kaabi, Chairman of the Sharjah Federal Court of First Instance; Major General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police; and Afaf Ibrahim Al Marri, Head of the Sharjah Social Services Department.
The meeting was also attended by Dr. Fatima Muhammad Al Khumairi, Head of the Forensic Medicine Department at the Ministry of Justice; Dr. Safia Al Khaja, Director of Al Qassimi Women's and Children's Hospital; Modhi Al Shamsi, Chairperson of the Department of Family Development Centres; and Dr. Hessa Al Kaabi, Head of the Child Protection Unit at Emirates Schools Establishment.
The Higher Committee members highlighted during the meeting the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), who directed the establishment of the Child Protection Centre and named it Kanaf, which means care, protection, and preservation in Arabic.
Committee members also reviewed the new updates on Kanaf's strategy, in addition to the organisational structure, building plan, and design of its sections and facilities that meets administrative and technical standards to ensure children and their families receive all services, including medical, psychological treatment, and moral support.
The strategy aims to bolster Kanaf’s role as an institutional umbrella, bringing together various stakeholders involved in protecting children who are victims of sexual or physical abuse, and its status as one of the leading child protection initiatives in the country, aligned with the UAE institutions’ strategies, as well as local, regional, and international priorities, to protect and advocate children, , promote their health and psychological well-being,ensure their access to justice and reduce child abuse
Hanadi Al Yafei, Director of CSD and Head of Kanaf Higher Committee, stressed that the objectives of Kanaf are centred on promoting children's rights and ensuring their protection from all forms of sexual and physical abuse. She underscored that the meeting provided an opportunity to deliberate on the strategy and update it, in addition to putting forward recommendations to bolster Kanaf's role as one of the most crucial initiatives that cater to the needs of children who are subjected to abuse.”
"We are dedicated to implementing the vision of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher, who directed the establishment of Kanaf as the first of its kind in the UAE and the region, providing legal, psychological, and social support for children. We will work tirelessly to increase efforts and cooperation with our partners to safeguard children's rights and work collectively to provide an environment that safeguards children, prevents their abuse, and enables them to thrive safely." added the Director of CSD.
The meeting was also attended by Mohammed Al Shehhi, Head of the Family and child Prosecution, and Amina Al Refai, Director of Kanaf, CSD teams and partners.