Three children of the Children’s Committees for Child Protection and Advocacy, which were formed by World Vision Jerusalem – West Bank – Gaza (JWG) and the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development, represented The Occupied Palestinian Territories (oPt) in the Arab Parliament for Children, under the slogan “Innovation, the Platform for the Future”. This Parliament launched its second session online this year, with the participation of 64 members from 22 Arab countries.
The Arab Parliament for Children - based in Sharjah - is an opportunity for children to express their opinions, issues and needs. It also includes many meetings and various entertainment and enrichment activities. Recommendations of children arising from it are submitted to the League of Arab States for the purpose of discussing them and shedding light on the reality of children’s life in the Arab world. World Vision JWG’s children expressed their pleasure to participate in such an event and their pride in representing the oPt. Janna Massad, one of the Child Committee members, said: “I felt very proud that I was part of the change that could happen in our Palestinian society. My presence with children from other Arab countries strengthened my confidence in representing the children of Palestine and my love for being Palestinian. My participation also increased my knowledge for new things, such as terms that I did not know before. I also learned new skills from participating in such a conference. I also got to know new people and made many friends and acquaintances." Ghalia Abu Al-Rub, Head of the Protection Department at the Ministry of Social Development, said: "The slogan of the second session of the Arab Parliament for Children, 'Innovation, the Platform for the Future', represents a promising vision for investment in Arab childhood to create an environment that stimulates creativity and innovation for children." Abu Al-Rub indicated that the Ministry is keen to follow up on the recommendations that came out in this session.
This participation is a celebration of the efforts made by the World Vision JWG and the Ministry of Social Development, aimed at building children's capacities and making their voices heard in all forums and at various levels. World Vision JWG will work in cooperation with the Ministry to form new protection and advocacy committees in other governorates, in addition to continuing their work with the existing committees, with the goal of contributing to the development and protection of children.
It is noteworthy that the Children's Committees for Protection and Advocacy were established in partnership between the Palestinian Ministry of Social Development and World Vision JWG during the end of 2019, and were launched as a first pilot phase with three child protection networks in three governorates: Yatta, represented in the Arab Parliament for its current session by Ahmad Smirat; and Nablus, represented by Lilas Kaabi; and Jenin, represented by Jana Massad.