Child protection is a concern for many parents, civil administrators, and public safety officials today. It’s a sad fact of life that due to the constraints of a free society, vigilance in child protection must be exercised to prevent abuse and mistreatment. That’s why CDA (The Community Development Authority) of Dubai not long ago drafted a new child protection policy that protects children, investigates abuses against children’s rights, and going as far as providing government services to children and families believed to be in great danger.
This recent policy does not only protect children residing in Dubai, but even children who are just passing through the Emirate. Presently, there is no federal law that addresses child abuse and neglect, nor a process for immediate intervention if the child is abused by any family member.
The first emirate to address child abuse was Sharjah, however, Dubai is quickly following that step. This can be seen in the recent Law No 3 of 2016, which is known as the Child Rights Law, which clearly state ‘’ Protecting the rights and welfare of every child in the United Arab Emirates is the responsibility of everyone including resident or tourist’’. For example, hitting a child in the face, beating a child resulting in injuries, abandoning a child because of a disability including child labor is prohibited. Penalties for such actions may range from a fine to imprisonment terms. What the Dubai law makers are seeking is to promote awareness of children’s rights, stop the mistreatment of children, develop a more comprehensive and integrated system that takes care of cases of neglect, abuse and or the exploitation of children.
However, the reason why Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum the ruler of Dubai drafted and passed a federal child protection law was a result of a case that shocked the Emirate when a father alleged of killing his 8 year old daughter and torturing her younger sister. The new child protection law will be tailored to children rather than the current general penalty code, where killing a child was not different than killing an adult. With the passing of the 2016 law, which seeks to cover child pornography and criminal penalties for the mistreatment of children entails a jail term of not less than 10 years imprisonment.
All in all, child protection systems and group procedures are motivated by primary goals. These goals are to inform the family that help is available, assist them with the resources they need, while also supply or support the family stop the inhuman behavior toward the children to a better way of living. Hence, whether you are a resident or non-resident, your responsibility as a neighbor is to ensure that kids in the neighborhood are safe. And if you think that having a child in the front seat in Dubai is not an issue, then you have to think again because by law now, it is an offense against that child.