Child abuse: Parents lose girl’s custody in Dubai

Dubai Police act after 9-year-old tells teacher she was treated like a maid

16:16 April 11, 2018
Child abuse

Dubai: In a rare action, a nine-year-old girl was taken away from the custody of her parents after she complained of physical abuse and being treated like a housemaid, a police officer said on Wednesday.

The Asian girl was allegedly beaten and forced to clean the dishes and clothes and prepare food by her parents.

Brigadier Dr Mohammad Al Murr, director of the Human Rights Department of Dubai Police, said the police took action after the girl informed her teacher about her ordeal.

“The girl was taken away from her parents recently and is at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to protect her from her parents who physically abused the girl and forced her to clean and study by herself,” Brigadier Al Murr said.

Lt-Colonel Saeed Rashid Al Heli, director of the police’s Department for the Protection of Women and Children, said officials went to the school and spoke to the child who had bruises and injuries on her body.

“The girl was in a bad mental state as her mother forced her to work in the house and clean though the family has a housemaid. We questioned the parents and the mother confessed that she beat her daughter to force her to learn cleaning and cooking,” Lt-Col Al Heli said.

The mother, who had a full-time job, said that she had a housemaid who looked after her two-year-old daughter.

“The mother was outside the house most of the time and she was treating her daughter badly when she returned to the house. She forced her to finish her homework by herself and was watching the house through cameras,” he added.

The father didn’t show any regret for his wife’s behaviour when the police told him of what had been happening.

“We discovered that the mother beat the girl with a big spoon and locked her in the bathroom when she saw her on camera and found out that she had not cleaned the house. We registered a case against the parents and referred the same to the public prosecution to take legal action,” Lt-Col Al Heli added.

As many as 73 cases of abuse of children and women were reported to Dubai Police last year.