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  • Category: Our Work
Child Protection

Islamic Relief World Wide (IRW) believes that all children have a right to personal dignity and protection from abuse, and it recognises the special responsibility and duty of care it bears to create a safe environment for children within the projects and programmes it manages and supports. Child abuse can be found in different forms; physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, negligent treatment and exploitation. It is therefore vital to IRW that child protection, safety and well being should be paramount to any other interest which might compromise it. IRW operates in over 25 countries (Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia) with more than half of IRW programme beneficiaries being children, added to which over 30,000 orphans sponsored; it is essential that IRW provide staff in the field with skills to conduct their work effective and efficiently.

Child abuse is a menace prevalent in all societies, cultures, institutions and religious establishments, therefore an area of grave concern for IRW. Extensive research is being conducted to identify areas of improvement to better help and support our international communities. This work will further aid IRW in developing faith based tools which will be instrumental in providing a platform to champion advocacy to influence change.

The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has said:

“Every one of you (people) is a shepherd. And every one is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them.”

This Hadith is reported by both Bukhari and Muslim. Parents and guardians are responsible for the children placed in their trust and will be questioned regarding this matter on the day of judgement. 

In order to help those that have been entrusted with the responsibility of a child or children Islam has outlined some basic but essential rights that child is entailed too. The most fundamental of these rights is the right to be properly brought up, raised (loved, cared and protected for) and educated. This means that children should be given suitable, sufficient, sound and adequate religious, ethical and moral guidance to frame their lives, behaviour and interaction with others.

An excellent document has been produced by Unicef and Al-Azhar University which provides a clear and concise outline of Child Rights in Islam. Please click on the link below for further information.

http://www.unicef.org/egypt/Egy-homepage-Childreninislamengsum(1).pdf

Islamic Relief Child Protection Policy

Islam encourages spiritual growth and provides guidance on how to conduct oneself when dealing with family, work and wider society. It equips people with the knowledge and moral compass as well as the necessary skills and tools which define a universal standard by which actions may be deemed moral or immoral.

Everybody is equal regardless of race, religion, creed and gender. This falls in line with ones character and credentials that are part of who we are. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: {O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety.

Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) believes that all children have a right to personal dignity and protection from all forms of abuse, and it recognises the special responsibility and duty of care it bears to create a safe environment for children within the projects and programmes it manages and supports. Child abuse can take the form of – physical, emotional, sexual, neglect, negligent treatment and exploitation. It is therefore vital to IRW that child safety and protection should be paramount to any other interest which might compromise it. IRW operates in over 25 countries (Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Asia) with more than half of IRW programme beneficiaries being children, added to which over 30,000 orphans sponsored; it is therefore essential that IRW provide staff in the field have the skills and knowledge to conduct their work effective and efficiently. 

Child abuse is a menace prevalent in all societies, cultures, institutions and religious establishments and therefore an area of grave concern for IRW. Extensive research is being conducted to identify areas of improvement to better help and support our international communities. This work will further aid IRW in developing faith based tools which will be instrumental in providing a platform to champion advocacy for change.

Protecting and Educating Children in Islam

“Seek knowledge even if it be in China” is a saying often attributed to the Prophet. Thankfully for many poor children in the Islamic world they have not had to go to China to seek knowledge, they have instead been able to access education through the Islamic educational system usually provided through a ‘Madrasah’. These ‘Madrasahs’ providing educational services for children have often been unrecognised by the state despite the fact that in many poor and fragile countries, the state struggles to provide adequate formal education for many of its children.

In recent years international perception of the role of madrasahs in the lives of children has been coloured by the actions of some Muslim fundamentalists.  Observers were quick to point to a role for madrasahs in ‘creating’ terrorists and much of the literature available on madrasahs has been carried out under the pressure of this perspective.  However more enlightened commentators have also taken an active interest in the Madrasah system that provides education in so many Islamic countries, especially where the government has failed to provide education in remote or rural areas, and where poor families have no access to formal school.

In all of the four countries selected for research conducted by IRW into ‘Protecting and Educating Children in Madrasah’s – Madrasah’s played a major role in educating children. There are significant challenges in ascertaining the exact numbers of children attending madrasahs (not least because the very definition of a madrasah is problematic). However, by any classification the numbers are astounding: in Mali an estimated 13% of school age children attend madrasah schools.

In Pakistan the number of madrasahs registered with the Ministry of Education  reached 20,000 in 2010. In Indonesia madrasahs serve 20% of all junior secondary school children, and the Pesantren (a particular form of Islamic boarding school) alone service over 3 million children. Even in Kenya where universal primary education is now free, many parents still choose to send their children to madrasahs to supplement their secular education and in Garissa central district (a majority Muslim area) 50% of school going pupils are attending public and private integrated Islamic schools , demonstrating their popularity for contemporary Muslim parents.

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