The protection and safety of our children is of utmost importance, and this fundamental tenet has now been reinforced even further by a series of new regulations that buttress child protection laws in the UAE. Child protection law was instituted in memory of Wadeema, an eight-year-old girl who was starved and tortured to death by her father and his girlfriend. The raft of new measures will ensure than no child in this nation will be left vulnerable, endangered or open to abuse.
The regulations covered under the Child Protection Law, as outlined by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, are indeed comprehensive and detail exactly what measures must be adhered to and implemented across a broad spectrum — from education, industry, workplace, new buildings, in the medical sector and in social services, in cinemas and online — to ensure that our greatest and most precious resources are fully protected from danger and the perils of those who might seek to harm.
The new regulations will also be highlighted in a public education campaign, and in all films shown in UAE cinemas or broadcast on television or available on online platforms will now be required to declare the age of children allowed to watch them. The executive regulations are timely, comprehensive, wide-ranging and together create a modern and effective protective framework.
Make no mistake, officials at every level of government and across every sector are determined that no child will again endure any suffering, and these measures reflect that determination.
These regulations cover off areas such as children in foster care, institutional oversight, health and educational institutions and those in social settings. They cover off the building code to protect children from harm; the rules prevent minors from entering workplaces where there are dangerous material or machinery, high temperature or high pressure equipment, and limit the age at which young people can work. Children will be prohibited from areas where others are smoking.
Our schools, whether public or private, offer a unique opportunity and resource to protect children in their charge. The new rules now make it a legal duty of care for educators to report instances of suspected abuse — and that is a moral duty they must fully embrace. There will also now be a database of those who are convicted of endangering or abusing children. Together, these rules will go a long way to protect our children — and they deserve nothing less.