New family protection policy in UAE will curb abuse: Experts
The new policy aims at straightening up behaviour that are harmful to the family, children and women.
Legal experts in the UAE have hailed a new federal policy that will protect women, children, the elderly and people of determination from any form of violence and abuse. They said the policy, which was approved by the UAE Cabinet on Monday, November 11, is part of the leadership's efforts to stand by the family, children and vulnerable members of society.
Emirati lawyer Abdulmoneim bin Suwaidan, owner of Bin Suwaidan Firm for Advocates and Legal Consultants, told Khaleej Times that the policy serves as a warning against committing such crimes "or even think about it".
He said the UAE has always been a pioneer in taking such initiatives. "When the Cabinet issues a decree to take care of this category and when laws and policies are issued to protect the family, it is what distinguishes the UAE from the rest of the world.
"These laws aim at stopping, deterring and preventing the crime before it happens ... That is what we understand from the tweet of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, about the UAE not tolerating any kind of abuse against an innocent child, the elderly, or a vulnerable woman."
The lawyer said there are already laws in place to safeguard the vulnerable sections of society against domestic violence. "There are other general laws like the penal code and it safeguards the rights of all. But still, special laws are being issued to address such issues," he said.
He pointed out that the UAE has special prosecutions to tackle domestic violence cases and specialised courts to take care of confidentiality. "Such cases are sensitive and need to be treated with caution because the affected family's life would eventually return to normal. They are not handled like any other cases. Some laws stipulate that reconciliation should be offered to the litigants before a ruling is issued because the law aims at safeguarding the family.
"There are cases in which a son assaults his father. However, reconciliation is always open. The father's mercy and affection towards his son would make him relinquish his rights to pursue the lawsuit."
Hani Hammouda, an Egyptian lawyer with Kefah Al Zaabi Firm for Advocacy and Legal Consultancy, said a stable and coherent family is the main aspect of the UAE society. "Social stability is based on stable and viable family units. That is what the UAE Vice-President reiterated following the Cabinet meeting," Hammouda said.
He, too, said there are already laws in place to protect the family. He cited a recent decree that was issued to protect families against domestic violence. "The law's purposes are to fight domestic violence and strengthen the social cohesion within the family itself. It also aims at straightening up behaviour that are harmful to the family, children and women."
How the scheme will protect families
>Regulate intervention mechanisms in domestic abuse cases
>Federal database linking institutions dealing with family protection
>Standardise system for reporting and receiving complaints
>Special law for protecting families
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