Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), recently organised a symposium on protecting the best interests of children in cross-border family disputes, from a Qatari perspective.
Titled 'Protecting the Best Interest in Cross-Border Family Disputes: Qatar Experience', the (DIFI) symposium, which brought together experts from the field, was held at the regional seminar on Child Rights in International Family Disputes, from November 19-20 in Jordan.
"The Qatari legislator takes care, through various constitutional and legal frameworks in Qatari legislation, to protect the best interests of the child during cross-border family disputes, as stated by the Qatari Family Law of 2006," said Abdullah Mohamed Abu Shehab al-Marri, Legal Specialist, Ministry of Justice.
"This includes the provision of Article 185, which protects the children against any abuse by foreign foster care taker in case of travel outside the State of Qatar, and the requirement of non-arbitrariness and mechanisms, relaying the decision to a judge in case of guardian and custodian conflicts."
Juznan al-Hajri, a member of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Lawyers Association and a lawyer at the Court of Cassation, added that the legislator has granted the judge the authority to make the court decide, as a matter of interest for the young.
Director of the Planning and Development Office at Family Counseling Centre (Wifaq), Salim Mohamed al-Enezi pointed out that Wifaq primarily focuses on affected children, as this is because it is in the best interest of the child to remain with the parents.
The centre provides support to various members of the affected families, helping individuals to deal with the psychological pressures and internal conflicts that accompany changes in family life.
DIFI is a global policy and advocacy institute working to advance knowledge on Arab families through research and promote evidence-based polices at a national, regional, and international level. The institute has special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.