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Leaving children behind in vehicles is a crime punishable by law, in the UAE

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on July 14, 2023, 17:41:00

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UAE, Dubai, children, VISA, Law, vehicles, punishable

Risking the lives of children is a crime punishable by law, and whoever is proven to be negligent in such cases will be referred to the judicial authorities and legal action will be taken against them. The police explained that leaving children in vehicles may cause suffocation or even death, due to high temperatures and lack of oxygen inside the vehicle. Children may meddle with the car key and fiddle with the transmission which may lead to an accident. Leaving children in the car also draws the attention of robbers/strangers who can make use of the situation and steal the car, kidnap or abuse the child.

Abu Dhabi Police demanded to parents, as a part of the ‘Safe Summer’ campaign, not to forget children inside vehicles, especially during summer and to not leave them alone while shopping or for any other reason even for a short period. Leaving a child inside vehicles exposes them to heat stroke and suffocation, which can lead to their death in less than 10 minutes. Temperatures can rise to 60 degrees Celsius in closed vehicles under direct sunlight.

Under the UAE’s child rights laws, parents/ guardians or caretakers who leave their child alone in a car unattended can face jail time of up to 10 years and a heavy fine. The fine amount is determined by the judge based on the case. Furthermore, children who are of the age of 10 and below should not sit in the front seat. The said punishment falls under the UAE Child’s Rights Law. The Child’s Rights Law aims to protect the rights of children regarding their physical, mental and emotional well-being. Article 33 of the Child Rights Law talks about child exposure to rejection, neglect and homelessness. It is about endangering a child’s mental, moral or physical health. Article 34 says that it is prohibited to endanger a child’s psychological and moral integrity through the abandonment of the child through his or her custodian.

In the recent past, there have been a lot of incidents where parents have left their children behind in closed vehicles while they were sleeping in the rear seats. Such incidents have also been reported on school buses, and have on occasions led to the death of children. There have also been instances of children dying after accidentally locking themselves while playing inside parked cars.

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