UAE law: Child entitled to be named suitably ‘to avoid humiliation’, say officials Dubai’s juvenile prosecution officials highlighted the importance of creating more awareness about the country’s child protection law among parents and children alike at an online lecture organised by them along with the Community Development Authority. Speakers stressed that parents must
UAE law: Child entitled to be named suitably ‘to avoid humiliation’, say officials
Dubai’s juvenile prosecution officials highlighted the importance of creating more awareness about the country’s child protection law among parents and children alike at an online lecture organised by them along with the Community Development Authority.
Speakers stressed that parents must be aware of the country’s child protection law and need to educate their children to ensure that their mental, physical and emotional safety is not prejudiced.
“In one of the cases, we received a complaint from a girl against her parents because of the name they gave her, which is a humiliating one,” said Maitha Al Suwaidi, a social researcher. “As per the law, one of the rights a child is entitled to is to be given a suitable name.”
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.”
“Families must be more aware of the law and parents going through marital problems would know that as per the law it is not permitted to use their children as leverage,” she pointed out. In some cases where parents were going through a divorce, children were being used by one of the spouse to pressure the other, she added.
“Parents need to know their rights and responsibilities and must educate their children about theirs,” said Shihab Ahmad, senior prosecutor.
The speakers highlighted the different types of cases they dealt with as part of their work while protecting juveniles in Dubai.
In another case, a 30-year-old man approached prosecutors complaining about his parents for not issuing him any official documents since birth.
Other cases highlighted during the session involved children below the age of ten being locked up in their apartments and left unsupervised.
“Parents speak of how they have long working hours, but it is their obligation to ensure their children’s safety and their welfare is safeguarded to the greatest extent possible,” said the senior prosecutor.
In cases that involve a child’s death in a home accident, the prosecutor said they probe parents on charges of negligence but they also consider the circumstances of each case separately.
“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,” he said.
Prosecutors have seen cases of kids dying in accidents at home where the parents have not been at fault.
“There was a case we worked on involving a toddler who fell to his death from the window,” said Ms Maitha. “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.”
“It’s everyone’s responsibility, the media in particular, to continue to highlight the issue of safety,” she said.
Parents can also seek information and support from multiple sources including prosecution, community development authority and police.