If you want to know what a fathers rights "future" holds, you need look no further than the present Middle East, where fathers rights are completely institutionalized. In this case, it is not mentioned whether this boy's mother is even still alive, or whether she is divorced and lost custody. Under Sharia law, mothers do not even have physical custody of children over the age of 7.
INVISIBLE MOTHER ALERT.
Father, stepmother may face child abuse charges
Teachers report boy's injuries to Ajman authorities.
By Bassma Al Jandaly, Senior Reporter
Published: 00:00 November 8, 2010
Ajman: An Emirati father and stepmother who are accused of repeatedly beating their seven-year-old son may be charged, an Ajman Educational Zone spokesman said.
The young boy, who attends an Ajman government school, had allegedly been coming to school each day with severe bruises, black eyes and marks indicating he had been hit on the head, back, hands, face and other parts of his body, the spokesman told Gulf News on Sunday.
Teachers at the school had asked the boy each day what had happened to him and if someone had beaten him up, he said.
"The boy used to hide the issue from his teachers. He was scared of his father and stepmother," the official claimed.
The boy eventually gave in and told his teachers he had been beaten by his father and stepmother, the spokesman said.
The school reported the boy's allegations immediately to the educational zone.
"We contacted the father and stepmother who refused to co-operate but they have been told by us that if they did not report to the educational zone by today [Monday] we are going to report the case to police," the official said.
"I have seen the little boy and he breaks my heart ... He has been beaten severely and brutally ... . We will make [the father and stepmother] sign an undertaking that they will not beat or torture the boy ... otherwise we will take legal action against them," the official said.
The boy had since been taken to hospital for medical treatment, the spokesman said.
This alleged case of child abuse follows a case in July last year when the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court sentenced a father and stepmother to 10 years in jail and ordered them to pay Dh160,000 for torturing their nine-year-old girl.
The father and stepmother's abuse had resulted in burns, knife cuts and bruises to the girl's body, the court heard.
General Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has called on members of the public to take a stand against child abuse.
Abu Dhabi Police told the court that the girl had been taken to hospital by her father. She was bleeding and had burns, knife cuts and bruises on her body.
The victim's father had at first told police his daughter had fallen off her bicycle, but a medical examination confirmed she had been "severely abused" and the father and stepmother were subsequently arrested.
Shaikh Mohammad said the sanctity of childhood was an essential element of UAE culture.
Shaikh Mohammad said all members of the community should speak out against abuse of this kind, and condemn any form of violence against children.
Last year Sharjah Social Services Department also formed a Child Rights Committee comprising representatives from Sharjah Police, social services, health authorities and the Residency Department to tackle cases of child abuse.
The law: Protection for children
A law is being drawn up to help protect children from being exploited as child labour, and to protect them from all other forms of abuse in the UAE. Under the draft law, adults who fail to act on children's complaints or inform authorities about abuse, would face penalties and fines.
Under the proposed law, crimes against children will be fought and dealt with systematically, in keeping with the universal principles enshrined in similar laws in other nations.
The law would guarantee every child had the full protection of the law, without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status, of the child, or its parents or legal guardians.
Under all circumstances, the protection, care and rescue efforts for the child are the primary consideration. The government's interest is in protecting children's lives and all their rights in emergencies, disasters and armed conflicts. Every child has the right to life.
Under the proposed law, the government aims to ensure to the maximum extent each child's survival and development.