Dubai: Neglecting your child in the UAE is an offence punishable by law.
And those who decide to turn a blind eye towards reporting such cases will also be held accountable, according to the 2016 Child Rights Law.
Dubai Police on Sunday warned parents of the dangers that follow when neglecting your child, and called residents to keep a watchful eye at all times.
The cautionary message was issued after two Emirati children, one-and-half-year-old girl Suad and her two-and-half-year-old cousin Shehab, drowned in a swimming pool on June 1, 2018, while their families were having iftar.
According to recent statistics, the Sharjah Social Services Department in 2016 received 3,504 calls, out of which 484 were reports of parental negligence, 968 about child abuse, 45 sexual abuse cases and 2,007 cases related to financial and legal issues.
In Dubai, the majority of child neglect cases are reported to the Community Development Authority (CDA), and offenders face penalties ranging from a fine to imprisonment.
The law ensures the protection of children aged one day to 18 years. It was previously called the Wudeema Law, in memory of Wudeema, an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was starved and tortured to death in Dubai by her father and his girlfriend.
What is child neglect?
Neglect is the constant failure to meet a child's basic needs and is the most common form of child abuse.
A child may be left hungry or dirty, without adequate clothing, shelter, supervision, medical or health care.
A child may be put in danger or not protected from physical or emotional harm.
They may not get the love, care and attention they need from their parents.
A child who's neglected will often suffer from other abuse as well. Neglect is dangerous and can cause serious, long-term damage, and even death.
Source: UK National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children