UAE elder-abuse law in the works

Work on the law, which began in November 2014, is at the preliminary stages of amendment.

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ABU DHABI // Minister of Social Affairs Mariam Al Roumi told the FNC on Tuesday that a law is in the works that will help protect senior citizens from domestic violence.

Responding to a question from an FNC member this week, the minister said the law has been in preparation since November 2014 and is at the preliminary stages of amendment.

It is designed to better help protect senior citizens from assault.

It will be presented to the FNC for review and by various organisations involved in its implementation.

The legislation was prompted by a recent incident when an elderly man in Dibba, Fujairah, was found to have been a victim of abuse by his housemaid.

Despite a nationwide 2013-2017 plan to provide elderly citizens with health services and other benefits, including a steady income, there has been no action so far.

Meanwhile, the justice ministry said it would consider re-evaluating the value of 100 camels to assess the value of blood money, which has not been carried out in more than 10 years.

The Minister of Justice, Sultan Al Badi, was responding to a question from Sultan Al Shamsi (Ajman) regarding the value of blood money for the heirs of manslaughter victims.

As blood money is evaluated on the value of camels, “why not amend the amount of blood money for people who suffer manslaughter in the current time?” the member asked.

In a written response, Mr Al Badi said: “Since the original source of blood money are camels and it is permissible to re-evaluate it based on the value of camels in each era, the ministry will conduct a study regarding this request and raise it to the concerned parties to present a suggestion regarding the amendment and revaluation.

Mr Al Shamsi said the written response was sufficient and he did not need to summon the minister to a future session.

Federal law No 9 for the year 2003 had amended the value of blood money to Dh200,000.

Ahmed Al Shamsi (Ajman) was unsatisfied with the minister’s response regarding his personal affairs law inquiry and requested his attendance in session.

Mr Al Shamsi had asked to amend Article 145 of law No 28 from 2005 which says: If the woman who holds custody of a child is of a different religion from her divorcee she loses custody of the child unless a judge decides otherwise until the child finishes five years of age.

He asked why non-Emirati women were not covered.

The article is general and includes Emiratis and non-Emiratis, the minister said.

Moreover, the personal affairs law takes into account the welfare of the child in custody, so it is up to a judge to decide custody within less than five years if it is seen as against the welfare of the child.

“This issue will be considered if needed when the law is amended,” he added.