UAE: Girl lodges complaint against parents over ‘humiliating’ name

Dubai - UAE law: A child is entitled to be named suitably 'to avoid humiliation', say officials


Afkar Ali Ahmed

Published: Thu 2 Sep 2021, 4:05 AM

Some parents are not aware of all the rights children are entitled to. In one case Dubai’s juvenile prosecution has received, a girl filed a complaint against her parents over the ‘humiliating name’ they had given her.

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“It is a child’s right to be given a suitable name, as per the UAE law,” said Maitha Al Suwaidi, a social researcher who shared the case at an online awareness lecture organised by the Dubai’s juvenile prosecution officials and the Community Development Authority.

According to the UAE’s Child Rights Law, “a child shall have the right, since birth, to have a name that does not involve humiliation or denigration of his/her dignity or that is contrary to religious beliefs and customs”.

Experts and officials at the online lecture highlighted the importance of creating more awareness about the country’s child protection law.

“Parents need to know their rights and responsibilities and must educate their children about theirs,” said Shihab Ahmad, a senior prosecutor.

Some children below the age of 10 were found to have been locked up in their flats and left unsupervised, the officials said.

“Parents speak of how they have long working hours, but it is their obligation to ensure their children are safeguarded to the greatest extent,” said the senior prosecutor.

In cases that involve a child’s death in a home accident, prosecutors probe parents on charges of negligence, though the circumstances are also considered.

“There is no punishment stronger than losing one’s child, which is a fact we consider when we work on cases where a child has died,” Ahmad said.

Prosecutors have seen cases of kids dying in home accidents where the parents were not at fault.

“There was a case we worked on involving a toddler who fell to his death from the window,” said Al Suwaidi. “His parents didn’t fail in their duties and provided proper care for their child, but such incidents could be prevented if they were more aware of safety measures needed at home.”

In another case discussed at the forum, a 30-year-old man approached prosecutors complaining about his parents for not applying for getting him any official documents since birth.

Stressing another issue that some parents may not be aware of, Al Suwaidi stressed that, according to the law, children should never be used as leverage when couples go through marital problems.

“In some cases of divorce, children were being used by one of the spouses to pressure the other,” she said.

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