x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

FNC aims to clarify Wadeema's Law

The committee hopes to end discussions next week about the 72-article bill.

An FNC committee will end closed discussions on the country's child-protection law next week.

Sultan Al Sammahi, deputy head of the Health, Labour and Social Affairs committee, said they have now finished debating the 72-article bill and have met all concerned parties.

The next step is to present the Ministry of Social Affairs with the FNC's changes at a closed meeting, he said.

During their scheduled meeting on Monday, the seven-member committee will meet ministry officials and reach agreements over proposed amendments to be made.

Mr Al Sammahi said the law, named after Wadeema, an eight-year-old girl tortured and killed by her father, had gone through minor changes.

Most of the changes, he said, were made to the language and wording to ensure there was no room for misinterpretation.

The committee made sure the law will now cover all children, even those at schools and nurseries.

Some changes to the proposed penalties for breaches of the law were also made.

After that, the bill will be raised for FNC debate.

Although committee members had assumed the bill would not be discussed before their recess at the end of June, Mr Al Sammahi said it was now likely.

"Possibly in the next few weeks," he said. "We have until June 26. We will see if we can add the law to the agenda on June 18 or June 25."