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Call for GCC to regulate teenagers travel.

Manama: A children's rights activist has called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to enact laws that regulate the travel abroad of teenagers.

Abdul Aziz Al Subai, the head of the Brussels-based International Organisation for Child Protection (INCPT), said that the move would help protect children from joining armed conflict zones and ultimately from sectarianism and national divisions.

"Bahrain has already moved towards adopting measures to regulate the travel of those under 18 to protect its children and teenagers," he said. "This is an advanced decision to keep them from areas afflicted by armed conflicts. The decision is also beneficial in fighting sectarianism and tackling calls to erode social cohesion and undermine security and civil peace," he said in remarks published by Kuwaiti daily Al Watan on Monday.

On August 18, Bahrain's Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that his ministry was working on a new set of general regulations and rules for travel by people under the age of 18 to conflict areas.

The decision is part of a wide spectrum of measures to help tackle the growing phenomenon of terrorism in the region.

"This formal step by Bahrain is fully in line with the regular calls issued by the United Nations to enact laws that protect children in conflict areas. We look forward to other countries emulating the Bahraini example and work on measures and procedures that help protect their children."

Al Subai said that children were not exposed only to kidnappings and mobilization in conflict areas.

"They are being fed false ideas and views to make them intolerant of others and to endorse sectarianism. This ominous phenomenon can be seen mainly in Iraq and Syria. Senior United Nations officials have been urging the international community to deploy more efforts to protect children and to take action against those who fuel such negative tendencies," he said.

INCPT says that it is a global non-governmental, non-profit organization that is independent of any political parties or trade unions. It says on its website that it was founded to promote and support better living conditions for children.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 1, 2015
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