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Man to be prosecuted for not registering kids in Dubai

He is accused of negligence, flouting child protection law

Image Credit: Supplied
Mohammad Ali Rustom
Gulf News

Dubai: A newborn’s right to be registered in a family book is protected by Wadeema Law, said a chief prosecutor on Saturday, in the light of referring a father to court for not registering his five children.

The UAE’s Child Rights Protection Law, earlier known as Wadeema law, was formulated to protect every newborn child’s right to be officially registered in a family book, said Prosecutor-General Mohammad Ali Rustom, Head of Family and Juveniles Prosecution (FJP).

The wife of the 34-year-old man lodged a negligence and abuse complaint before the authorities after her husband refused to register his five children in his family book, according to Rustom.

“The suspect [father] has been accused of abusing and treating his children with negligence by failing to register them in the family book … which is every child’s right as per the Child Protection Law. We have referred the suspect to the family court where he will be tried as per article 60 of the Federal Law No. 3 2016 of Child Protection,” the FJP’s head said in a media statement on Saturday.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued the Child Protection Law and that came into effect in June this year.

The case surfaced following the wife’s complaint, according to Rustom, that her husband had refused to register in his family book his five children aged 4, 6, 10, 11 and 12.

“Prosecutors’ investigation revealed that the suspect had intended not to register his children in the family book because his 12-year-old daughter is an illegal child. Once the authorities refused to issue official papers for the illegitimate daughter, the suspect thereafter decided not to register his remaining four legal children in the family book until registering the 12-year-old daughter … his act is incriminated and punishable by law,” said Rustom.

According to interrogations carried out by FJP’s Senior Prosecutor Amna Saif Bu Usaiba, the five children have birth certificates and health cards and go to school.

“The father is unemployed and he cannot afford supporting them and providing them with a decent living. The father lives with his wife and children in one room at the house of his parents-in-law. The Bait Al Khair Association and the Community Development Authority support the family,” said Bu Usaiba.

The UAE legislators stipulated the Child Protection Law to provide a decent and appropriate living for children and to care for and protect their lives, wellbeing and safety, said FJP’s Head.

“The Law has come, also, to protect and provide the child with all the required rights since birth and once the parents chose the newborn’s name. The Law ensures that every child has the right to be registered in a family book, to have a nationality and to be registered under the legal parents. Dubai Public Prosecution’s high command and FJP handle children’s cases with utmost and top priority … we also treat them with high vigilance to ensure that every child’s right is protected since birth,” concluded Rustom.

According to the media statement, the father’s nationality remained undisclosed.

A prosecution source, who refused to reveal the nationality of the suspect, confirmed to Gulf News that the family court will look into the case in December.