An opinion poll conducted by “Emirates Today”, on its account on the social networking platform “Twitter”, showed that about 42% of those who monitor cases of child abuse are afraid to report to the competent authorities for fear of legal accountability, while specialists in the protection of family and child affairs confirmed that the law Any harm to the child must be reported, and failure to report exposes the person to imprisonment or a fine.
The opinion poll consisted of three questions related to the Child Protection Law “Wadima”, and the extent of community members’ awareness of the responsibility entrusted to them to assist the competent authorities in implementing the law whose provisions and articles stipulate the protection of the child’s human rights in all its forms, social, educational, family and health.
The survey asked observers about the reason for not reporting child abuse cases. About 31% of them answered that they refrain from reporting when the cause of the abuse is a family member, 27% do not know who to file the complaint and how to report the case, and 42% fear legal accountability Therefore, they do not go to the competent authorities.
In response to another question in the poll, it stated: “Did you know or witness that a child was harmed and informed the competent authorities to request his protection and prevent his continued harm?” 80% of the respondents answered “No”.
In response to a question: Do you know what the Child Protection Law is? 48% of the respondents answered “no”.
Commenting on the results of the poll, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Hammadi, Director of the Family Cohesion Department at the Community Development Authority in Dubai, told Emirates Today that there have been great efforts made since the promulgation of the law to define its provisions and objectives. However, this does not deny that it is considered an emerging law, especially since The issuance of its executive regulations also took a long time, and therefore the content and texts of the law need more time to become part of the ideas and practices of community members.
He added that there is a need for further simplification of sentences and vocabulary to be clear for some groups that may find it difficult to understand the high language in which laws are formulated.
Al-Hammadi emphasized that this type of poll is a useful indicator, as its results draw attention to some areas that must be focused on, and clarify them to members of society, stressing the importance of community members realizing that there is a legal responsibility on people who do not perform their duty to report cases of abuse, abuse or violence. Which children are exposed to, especially since the child is one of the groups most vulnerable to harm, because he does not know how to defend himself, and he is ignorant of the available methods to seek help.
Al-Hammadi stressed that before the issuance of the Child Protection Law “Wadima”, reporting cases of child abuse was voluntary, but after the issuance of the law the matter became binding, and the second paragraph of Article 42 states that reporting is mandatory for educators, doctors, social workers or others who are entrusted to them. Protecting, caring for or educating children, as well as family members from uncles and uncles, as well as neighbors, so that all groups are covered and legally responsible for reporting cases of child abuse and abuse.
He explained that Article 60 of the law stipulates that anyone who violates Clause 2 of Article 42, which is not reporting cases of child abuse, will be punished with imprisonment or a fine of not less than 5,000 dirhams.
As for refraining from reporting for fear of family problems or exposure to abuse by the victim’s family or the perpetrator of abuse of the child, Al-Hammadi emphasized that there is a clear and binding directive for the recipient of the complaint or the report, as well as for social workers, that the identity of the reporter and the information provided by him must be kept confidential. And the necessity to respect the privacy of anyone who communicates with the unified reporting system at the state level or at the level of the Community Development Authority in Dubai, and to maintain the confidentiality of information in the integrated case management system in which it records the details of cases, reports and the entire case information. He stressed that the law is clear in protecting whistleblowers and all parties concerned with giving information about the case, as this data is confidential and no one is authorized to view it except for specialists, and no one from outside can know the identity of the whistleblower.
He emphasized that the team in charge of dealing with the case has experience and a method of dealing with the parents of the child and the cause of harm and confronting them, and possesses high professionalism and uses thoughtful scenarios to ensure that the identity of the reporter is not reached under any circumstances.
He pointed out that the obligation to report cases of child abuse carries an ethical, educational, humanitarian and religious dimension, because that means a commitment to protect an innocent soul, and it also means a commitment to protect a weak creature.
Supporting children’s rights
The Director of the Social Protection Department at the Ministry of Community Development, Iman Hareb, said that the ministry is implementing a package of specific initiatives and programs in the field of child rights support, including the family, children, and local community institutions, explaining that organizing awareness-raising workshops on the Child Rights Law aims to create positive societal attitudes and behaviors. Towards the rights of the child.
She added that the workshops focus on a number of axes, most notably the procedures for protecting children’s rights and the appropriate means to implement them, the definition of the responsibilities of the law enforcement agencies, and the early intervention methods to reduce risk factors and their effects on the child and his family, in addition to enhancing the complementarity of the partnership between government agencies on the one hand, the family and society. On the other hand, especially with regard to the responsibilities of the child.
Hareb indicated that the Ministry has issued story collections on the rights of the child aimed at educating the child about his rights and obligations according to the different age stages to educate children, in accordance with what was approved by the law to ensure the protection of the child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation of all kinds.
– Legal responsibility for those who do not report cases of child abuse, abuse or violence.
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