“People were now more aware”: Dubai Police responded to 539 child abuse cases in 2022
Dubai Police received 539 cases of child abuse last year, more than double the number of cases reported in 2021. Greater awareness among people led to an increase in the number of cases being reported, said Major General Dr Mohammad Abdullah Al Murr, director of the Women and Children Protection Department.
He highlighted the role played by a number of initiatives and campaigns launched by the department in bringing greater awareness in society about the importance of seeking help if a child encounters abuse, while further underscoring the Emirati law that shields children against all forms of exploitation, negligence, physical and psychological abuses.
Last November, on World Children’s Day, Dubai Police launched the ‘Our Children are Our Responsibility’ campaign, with more than 100 children and their families marching to bring greater awareness on child rights. Maj Gen Al Murr highlighted the importance of community responsibility and underscored Dubai Police’s zero tolerance for abusers of children’s rights.
“Protecting children’s rights is a shared responsibility between all segments of the society including children themselves,” said Fatima Al Beloushi, head of the Safety Ambassadors Council at Dubai Police. They have been providing meticulous training to children and students in an effort to help them become ambassadors of safety in their community, she added.
Out of the 539 cases of child abuse Dubai Police responded to in 2022, most abusers were either close relatives or even immediate family members. Following a case involving an eight-year-old Emirati girl who was tortured to death by her father and his girlfriend, police in the UAE received greater powers of arrest in 2016 under improved child protection laws.