Kids playing with marbles- CC via Wikimedia
CAIRO - 8 October 2018: The fifth edition of the Arab Civil Society Forum for Children will start in Cairo on Saturday to address the theme of upbringing children in a changing world.
The event is hosted by the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD) in cooperation with the Arab League's department of women, family and childhood and Arab Gulf Program for Development (AGFUND).
The forum, which is held under the auspices of ACCD President Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, aims at evaluating modern methods of rearing children who are capable of adapting to the new realities brought about by technology in today's globalized world. It also addresses child rights and unlocking Arab children's inherent potentials to contribute to building a knowledge-based Arab society.
The forum plays a pivotal role in networking and building capacity of Arab civil society organizations working in the field of childhood, through identifying a main issue to be tackled in each of its meeting sessions.
The idea of the forum was first initiated by Arab civil society organizations working in the field of childhood, during the year 2000 in preparation for the UN special session on children which took place during 2002 under the title "World Fit for Children". This initiation is the direct result of the increased experience of NGOs in providing services for children. As a result of this effort, NGOs acquired professionalism and promoted their relationship to government. In preparation for the above mentioned UN session, a series of NGOs meetings, under the auspices of the Arab League, took place and came up with a number of recommendations that called for an increased attention to children issues in the Arab world; institutionalization of the work for children; and promote networking between NGOs working in childhood issues.
In 2001, the 1st forum was held in Morocco, as part of preparations for the UN Special Session on children.
In 2005, the 2nd forum was held in Cairo, and was considered to be a new step towards building capacity of civil society through networking and exchanging experience.
In 2010, the 3rd forum was held in Cairo, and focused on identifying the importance of data in changing children situations and in planning and programing on a right based approach and the apprehension of NGOs to that; as well as the availability of this data for civil society organizations.
In 2012, the 4th forum was held in Lebanon, and focused on building capacities of civil society organizations and concerned institutions, including networking and advocacy in support of the right of Arab children to participation, and identifying the level of participation of children in the Arab world.