News | UAE

17 children rescued in RAK nursery raid

Young charges were found in unhygienic, squalid conditions, Ministry of Social Affairs says

  • By Aghaddir Ali, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 22:00 February 20, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • The house where the unlicensed nursery functioned.

Ras Al Khaimah: The Ministry of Social Affairs, aided by Ras Al Khaimah Police, raided an unlicensed nursery and removed 17 children, between the ages of four months and two years, from what inspectors described as squalid conditions.

The discovery has prompted renewed efforts by the ministry to inspect home nurseries across the country, with a campaign expected soon.

The 17 children were found in unhygienic and unsafe conditions, ministry officials said. They were returned to their parents.

The owner of the nursery faces legal action for putting the lives of children at risk and for operating without a license.

Eman Harib, a director at the Ministry of Social Affairs, told Gulf News that the ministry had received a complaint regarding a house located in the Al Dafa area of Ras Al Khaimah. The ministry was informed that the house, consisting of two bedrooms and a hall, had been converted into a nursery.

“I did not believe what I saw... The house looked like a desert house,” Harib said.

The children were found either sleeping or sitting on the floor.

Ministry inspectors also found that the children’s meals had placed on a table, next to a combination of drugs and a bug zapper, a device that attracts and kills flying insects that are attracted by light.

“I saw a bottle of milk belonging to one of the children... I asked the owner about the contents inside. He [said it was] yogurt. But it was untrue. It looked like spoilt milk, due to hot [conditions] inside the room,” Harib said.

There was no air-conditioning in the house and there was a foul smell emanating from inside.

The Arab family running the nursery consisted of three people — two men and an elderly woman of reduced mobility, raising questions as to whether she was capable of caring for her charges, Harib said.

He insisted that the ministry will not tolerate people who turn their homes into a nurseries without obtaining a licence.

The owner of the house claimed that he was unemployed and needed the money.

“The family told inspectors that they received children from 7am until the late hours of the day,” Harib said.

The family also revealed that they only charged Dh300 per child every month and argued that they were much cheaper than most other nurseries.

Harib said that Ministry of Social Affairs had asked Ras Al Khaimah police to see to it that the children underwent medical examinations to ensure they were still in good health.

Harib requested families to think twice about leaving their children in questionable childcare facilities.

He pointed out that there was a nursery near the raided house but added that some parents wanted to save money the wrong way by putting their children at risk.

“I met one of the parents and asked him why he chose this house and put his two children in it. He told me that he knew that family and trusted them, [that] they were his friends.”

Comments (4)

  1. Added 15:16 February 21, 2013

    It is funny and ironic at the same time where parents who have the atrocity to bring a child into this planet and then throw them in situations or conditions which is appalling. Parents need to realise its life that they are playing with. In the so called given society morals and values are slowly diminishing and what is irony or funny that society even supports it. Example can be found when in a super market you go and find people either dragging their food on the ground with a so called hand trolley. Because maybe its far fetched but food is a commodity which comes from Gods creation so it needs to be respected while or even the children are put in trolleys with the food which they might even kick with their feet. Even when you go to a theater for a late night show and all, you find kids watching movies in wee hours and some also are very small as in few months old. I have even seen cases where parents are still sitting and watching the movie while the kid is crying. As if money is more important than the child. I applaud what U.A.E government does for every kind of safety to campaigns and so on for benefit of the people living in here. And I believe parents need to be fined also for negligence in such cases. Parents should morally and ethically evaluate themselves before taking decisions such as these where any given child would be in danger.

    Gazi Naeemul Karim, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 14:16 February 21, 2013

    it is so sad to see that parents can blindly trust anyone and leave their children in their hands just to save some money. please it's a humble request be more cautious as you are risking your loved one's life for few dirhams.

    priyanka, sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 13:52 February 21, 2013

    Please provide daycare at work place so that mother's can feed their child also. Breast milk is much important for the small kids, please start promoting daycare facilities.

    Neeta, Burdubai, India

  4. Added 11:51 February 21, 2013

    parents have to be punished too

    elena, abu dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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