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Title: A critical evaluation on combating child sexual abuse and the limitations of international law: a case study of United Arab Emirates
Authors: AlMatrooshi, Ali Mohammed Juma Majed
Advisors: Rehman, J
Ssenyonjo, M
Keywords: Child protection;Human Rights;Children Rights Convention;Universal periodec review
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Brunel University London
Abstract: Child sexual abuse is a heinous crime. It consists of a variety of pernicious practices which include, but are not limited to, online child pornography, rape and incest. Globally, an estimated 15 million female adolescents have been coerced into sex during their lifetime, whilst the figure for boys is unknown.1 In many instances, this crime is perpetrated by those who are closest to the victims. Child victims may be severely traumatised and as a result become dysfunctional members of society. Child sexual abuse harms the very fabric of society and society thus pays a heavy price for continuing to tolerate this crime. As such, as this crime predominantly takes place behind closed doors and victims only very rarely report cases,2 a comprehensive legislative and policy approach must be adopted in order to effectively combat child sexual abuse. Legislators around the world as well as the international community must therefore make combating child sexual abuse a priority. However, the question arises whether there exist difficulties and weaknesses within international law which contribute to the persistent problem of child sexual abuse. Accordingly, this research probes whether international law accords adequate protection to the rights of the children and, if not, whether it fails to adequately protect children from sexual abuse. For this purpose, a detailed examination of relevant UAE laws is undertaken in the form of a case study. It is argued that international law has failed to clearly establish norms and also lacks enforcement mechanisms. The main international instrument, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, fails to determine the age of the child. Instead, it empowers domestic law to do this. Other shortcomings also limit the effectiveness of international law, particularly implementation issues. In the context of the UAE, the fundamental problem is that cultural values entrenched in Islamic criminal and family law have not shown an understanding of the child sexual abuse paradigm. Instead, the honour ideology has been reinforced.
Appears in Collections:Law
Brunel Law School Theses

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