x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Child's death fall prompts push to make UAE towers safer

Officials call for federal law to protect children from falling accidents following the death fall of a five-year-old Arab boy with special needs.

Dubai // Child protection officials are calling for safety standards for high-rise buildings to be unified and enforced nationwide to prevent accidents.

The higher committee for child protection is studying a proposal to make securing windows and balcony doors a federal law.

It is already compulsory in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah for the registration of new tenancy contracts.

The push comes after a five-year-old Arab boy with special needs, HA, died after falling from the second-floor balcony of his home on Muroor Road in the capital on Saturday.

The rules could be part of the much awaited child protection law, the Ministry of Interior said.

"There is a need to start unifying safety criteria for towers across the country to protect children," said Maj Gen Nasser Nuaimi, chairman of the higher committee for child protection.

"We have been closely monitoring the increasing falling accidents, causing death and serious injuries, so we stress on the need for joint efforts to safeguard children. I urge other municipalities to follow in the footsteps of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah."

By law, parents must make every effort to protect their children. Cases in which children have fallen to their deaths have resulted in prosecution. Endangering the life of a child under 15 can carry a jail term of up to two years, increasing to three years if the child was unattended.

wissa@thenational.ae