Children of Emirati human rights defenders “under threat”
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has issued concerns about the treatment of children on human rights defenders in the United Arab Emirates.
The Committee raised concerns in its report that there were serious threats to the rights of children in the UAE and that those children of human rights defenders were particularly under threat, facing a lack of protection and promotion of their rights.
Referring to the specific case of the UAE 94 defendants the Committee said their,
“rights to education, identity documents, to freedom of movement and to keep contact with their detained parents have reportedly been seriously undermined.
“The Committee reminds the State party of its obligation to ensure that children are protected against all forms of discrimination or punishment on the basis of the status, activities, expressed opinions or beliefs of their parents and therefore recommends that the State party put an end to all forms of discrimination experienced by children of human rights defenders and political opponents.”
The Convention of the Rights of the Child protects children from harassment, intimidation and abuse as the result of the beliefs, opinions, assemblies or activities of their parents. However, the Committee’s report noted that children of human rights defenders were not protected from this in the UAE. Previously concerns have been raised about the family lives of human rights defenders in the UAE – given the affect of enforced disappearances, detentions, abuses and in some cases exile on family life.
The Committee called for the UAE authorities to be held accountable, saying:
“that reported instances of intimidation and harassment of NGOs, human rights defenders or civil society activists are promptly and independently investigated, and those responsible for such abuses are held accountable.”
The report can be viewed here