Eight-month-old Mohammed Al Hashemi is the youngest employee at the General Civil Aviation Authority. Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: The Public Prosecution Office of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department on Wednesday summoned a government official for questioning over a video that has sparked a debate.

The Public Prosecution said in a statement that the footage indicated that the toddler was appointed in an 'entertainment' position and saw the need to investigate the case with the concerned authority.

In a tweet, the judicial department said: “Abu Dhabi's public prosecution office has called in a government official to clarify the issue of appointing a child to a government official’s position.”

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) posted the video on social networking sites, which initially claimed that eight-month-old Mohammad Al Hashemi was appointed as a Happiness Executive, with the aim to spread happiness and positivity in the workforce. 

The online video, which was posted last Monday and has since been removed, caused a spark among the public about whether toddlers should be employed.

Saif Mohammad Al Suwaidi, Director General of the GCAA, said that the authority apologised for the confusion that the video has caused, and explained that the toddler was enrolled in the department’s day care program.

He also pointed out that the GCAA’s childcare facility was set up to serve the needs of new mothers.

In 2006, the UAE Cabinet addressed this issue by ordering all federal and local government departments with more than 50 women Emirati staff or where the women Emirati staff collectively have more than 20 children, to offer on-site nurseries.

Al Suwaidi further stressed that the GCAA is fully committed to respecting and protecting the rights of children in the UAE.