Muna Al-Fuzai

Muna Al-Fuzai

Children are
vulnerable and can fall victim to physical or verbal harm, especially if family
conditions are harsh or insecure. So many governments in the world have issued
legal regulations and legislations to protect the little ones.

Kuwait issued law
number 21 / 2015 for protecting the rights of the child, such as education,
healthcare, housing, culture and protection from assaults. This law protects
both healthy children and those with special needs, and has been activated by
several agencies, including the ministry of interior, the ministry of social
affairs and the ministry of health.

The law also
stipulates that children should not be used for work that does not suit their
age, travel without the permission of their guardians, or be prevented from
seeing either of their parents in the event of divorce. I think the aim of such
details in the law is to ensure that no single entity can manipulate a child's
life or their wishes.

The government
also established the child protection department of the ministry of health,
which launched hotline 147 to report any cases of child abuse. The department
has the authority to inform the ministry of the interior and the ministry of
social affairs, which have the authority to take measures against perpetrators.

With the issuance
of this law, some claimed it encouraged the child to rebel and that spanking
might be beneficial for them. But these protesters did not accept the fact that
beating a child causes psychologically-devastating damage in the long run,
leading them to lose their personality and self-confidence as well. The nature
of civil society today has changed from the nature of society 100 years ago.

For example, in
the past teachers beating students was normal and acceptable by parents and
children, who could not object because they would be exposed to more harm. But
this situation has changed today and the child has the right to reject corporal
punishment, and beating in schools is forbidden. I agree with this because
beating a child is a crime and no one should be allowed to harm a young child
for any reason.

Last year, Kuwait
accomplished a good achievement by obtaining a prize from the International
Child Protection Team of the International Society for Prevention of Child Abuse
and Neglect (ISPCAN) for its efforts to support children's rights.

I think that
raising awareness for children is the right starting point to tackle this
global problem, as the child must be aware from the elementary stage of his
physical rights and his dignity and that no one has the right to be subjected
to abuse, and that there are legal bodies that are ready to help and protect
them from aggressors. So the role of the school is very important.

I believe that
stricter laws on child abuse must be implemented. In Kuwait, there are multiple
expatriate communities of different nationalities, whether Arab or foreign, so
I hope that these groups will make their peers aware of this law, because
violence is not related to a specific nationality, and this is something that
will happen and we need mutual efforts to stop it .

I believe the
child law represents an important legal and social event in Kuwait, as the
child protection department has the power to transfer complaints which it
receives via the hotline directly to the ministry of interior to intervene, as
well as maintain the confidentiality of reports, which was not previously

By Muna Al-Fuzai

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