The UAE has reached another milestone as it continues to stride ahead on the path of absolute commitment to the safety and security of its people. The UAE Child Protection Law, which came into effect yesterday, is an impressive piece of legislation that ensures that every child in the UAE, whether resident or tourist, will be accorded the right to stay safe and be protected at all times and under all circumstances. In stating this, the law sends an unambiguous message to parents, guardians, relatives and any adult dealing with children to be cognizant of their responsibility towards children under their care.

The right of children to enjoy a wholesome upbringing is an inviolable rule of human progress and any act that impacts and diminishes or damages their quality of life physically, emotionally and psychologically must be tackled with inflexible rigour. This is a fundamental obligation every society must undertake, failing which, it inevitably bears the brunt of the damage it caused to its future generations.

The spectrum of wrongdoing against a child is all-encompassing, as laid down by the Child Protection Law, and this is as it should be. From allowing a child to sit in the front seat of a car or leaving a child alone at home to the higher realms of abuse, violence and neglect, the law takes into consideration every and any act that creates endangering consequences for a child and acts on it.

When the primordial parental instincts of protecting their child fail, and abuse and neglect replace love and care, laws such as this offer course-correction for affected children and society at large that all will never be lost.