UAE: Up to Dh50,000 fine, jail for violating children's rights

Web Report/Dubai
Filed on March 15, 2021
(Illustrative image/Reuters)

Emirati Children's Day: All you need to know about the laws on raising kids in the UAE.

The UAE has a zero tolerance approach when it comes to anything that violates children's rights.

With the country celebrating the Emirati Children's Day today, March 15, the UAE Public Prosecution has explained the laws and penalties governing child welfare.

The UAE had adopted the Child Protection Law - popularly known as the Wadeema Law - in 2016. It is named after Wadeema, an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was brutally tortured to death by her father and another suspect in 2012.

The law - which covers children of UAE nationals as well as those of expats - lays out the legal rights of minors. It is designed to protect children from birth to puberty from a variety of forms of abuse, including physical, verbal and psychological.

According to provisions of the law, it is prohibited to subject a child to torture. Violators face imprisonment and fines of up to Dh50,000.

According to the official website of the UAE Government, the law stresses that all children must be provided with appropriate living standards, access to health services, education, equal opportunities in essential services and facilities without any kind of discrimination.

“The law protects children against all forms of negligence, exploitation, physical and psychological abuses,” the website says.

In addition, smoking in public and private vehicles and indoor facilities where children are present is also prohibited under the law.

“The law allows childcare specialists to remove children from their homes against parents' wishes and without judicial permission in cases of imminent danger. In less severe cases, specialists may intervene by visiting the child regularly, providing social services and mediating a solution between the family and the child,” the UAE Government website says.

“Those who put children in danger, abandon them, neglect them, leave them without supervision, do not enroll them in school or register them upon their birth will be subject to a prison sentence or a fine or both. The law applies to all children up to the age of 18.”

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