A domestic worker has been referred to the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance (pictured) on charges of physical abuse, sexual harassment and endangering the life of her employers’ child, the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department announced on Saturday.
The maid allegedly put the life of the child, a boy less than one year old, in danger by even sitting on him while harassing him, the statement said.
Investigations into the case began after the boy’s father filed a complaint that his son had been molested and beaten by their maid.
The father reported that his wife had watched a surveillance tape of the maid taking off the child’s and her own clothes while the parents were away from home.
She then sat on the child, putting his life in danger, and rubbed herself against him. The tape also revealed that the boy was beaten by the maid, and that his face had been covered with a pillow to prevent him from crying out.
After being shown the footage, the maid admitted to the charges.
An official with the Public Prosecution said that the parents of the abused child will also be charged with neglect. The statement from the Public Prosecution also reiterated that the UAE has very strict laws to deal with individuals who pose any kind of threat to the physical and psychological safety of a child.
These laws hold a child’s parents responsible for the safety of their children, including selecting reliable employees for their households. The statement stressed that the Public Prosecution is not lenient with parents who are unmindful of their children’s security, and that it has the right to charge such parents with neglect.
In addition, the statement also expressed concern at the great dependence of many parents on their domestic workers.
UAE laws state that leaving children alone with domestic workers, in the absence of parental supervision, is a crime for which guardians could be punished.
According to the Public Prosecution, sexual harassment of a child below the age of 14 years carries a prison sentence of 15 years, while an offender found guilty of physical abuse can result in heavy fines and a prison sentence of up to three years.