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Laws relating to child labour in the uae: what you must know

The UAE is committed to upholding laws safeguarding children’s rights and empowering them via access to facilities, including education, adequate health care, and other services. New legislation about children’s rights was adopted in the United Arab Emirates in 2016 under the Federal Law No. 3 of 2016. The Wadeema Law, previously known as the UAE Child Rights Law, defends children’s rights to protection, housing, health care, and education while also shielding them from maltreatment and neglect.

So what exactly is Wadeema’s Law?

The Wadeema’s Law, also known as Federal Law No. 3 of 2016, which addresses children’s rights, emphasizes that:

  1. All children must have adequate living conditions, access to healthcare and education, and equal opportunities in facilities and facilities that are necessary to society without any form of discrimination.
  2. The legislation safeguards kids against carelessness, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse. Additionally, it is illegal to smoke in enclosed spaces where children are present, including public and private automobiles. Penalties stipulated by the law will apply to violators.
  3. In situations of immediate danger, the law permits childcare professionals to take children out of the house against the parents’ will and without court approval.
  4. In less difficult situations, professionals may step in by making frequent visits to the kid, offering social assistance, and negotiating a settlement between the family and the youngster.
  5. A jail term, a fine, or both will be imposed on those who endanger children, abandon them, neglect them, leave them alone, do not register them when they are born, or perform any of the abovementioned actions. The statute covers all minors under the age of 18.

Whom does wadeema law define as a child?

Any individual who was born alive and under the age of 18 is considered a child. The term “custodian of the child” refers to the one assigned legal custody or responsibility for the child.

Applicability of Wadeema’s Law

The law, which applies to both UAE citizens and the children of expatriates, outlines the legal rights of minors in the UAE and is intended to safeguard children from birth until adolescence from various types of abuse, such as physical, verbal, and psychological abuse.

Protection of Children’s Rights

A child is protected under Article 3 against race, ethnicity, religion, or handicap discrimination. The legislation also emphasizes that all choices and actions involving a child must be made with the child’s safety and best interests in mind.

According to the legislation, up to ten years in jail are required for certain violations, which provides a range of penalties for certain child abuses.

The UAE’s new child rights legislation affirms the nation’s longstanding commitment to protecting children’s rights and the country’s ongoing efforts in this regard.

Employment of underage Children

Under Article 14 of the law, “The competent authorities and the concerned entities shall:

  1. Prohibit the employment of children before the age of fifteen.
  2. Prohibit economic exploitation and employment in any works that may expose the child to risk, whether due to the work nature or circumstances.

The Implementing Regulation of the Law and the Labour Law shall regulate the conditions and principles of child labour in the UAE.

It is permissible to recruit persons at least 15 years old, provided certain conditions are met, such as obtaining formal authorization from the guardian and birth and medical fitness certificates from the proper medical authorities.

You may want to know: Changes introduced in the UAE Labour Laws

Violation of Laws relating to Child Labour in the UAE

The following are prohibited under Article 38 of the Law:

  1. Child begging exploitation
  2. Illegal Child labour
  3. Forcing children to participate in activities that are detrimental to their education, physical or mental health, or moral and mental integrity.

Penalty for violation of Child Labour Laws in the UAE

Article 68 of the Law talks about the Penalty for violation of Child Labour Laws in the UAE. It states that “Whoever violates the provisions of Article (14) or (38) hereof shall be punished by imprisonment and a fine not less than AED (20,000) twenty thousand. If the work endangers the life of the child who has not reached fifteen years of age or threatens their physical, mental or moral integrity, this shall be considered an aggravating circumstance.”


The UAE places a great emphasis on the protection and rights of children. It was one of the first Middle Eastern nations to ratify the United Nations Convention on Child Protection. It has included provisions for children’s rights in several existing legislation to ensure that they are adequately implemented. The instances given above make it very evident that the new law strengthens the current legislation protecting children’s rights. The new legislation is welcomed since it continues the UAE’s longstanding efforts to protect children’s rights and affirms that commitment.

HHS Labour Lawyers in Dubai UAE

HHS Lawyers & Legal Consultants law firm in Dubai can give appropriate legal advice and legal consultants in Dubai on any legal concern. Contact us right now for further information on this regulation or any other legal requirements you may have by assisting the top attorneys in UAE. For more information on child labour in the UAE and its related law, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Hazim Darwish

Hazim Darwish, is a Senior Partner of HHS Lawyers in UAE. Practicing law for almost a decade, he has in-depth knowledge on UAE legislation with particular expertise on legal drafting, contract drafting, labor disputes, family law, and regulatory compliance for business organizations. Hazim Darwish also provides counsel on legal rights and obligations in the UAE to clients, including individuals and businesses subject to investigation or prosecution under Criminal Law by major regulators.