The State of Kuwait has enacted legislations intended to maintain child rights and acted at the international level for protecting these rights, joining the 1991 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). It has provided free of charge medical care for children, as part of the approach to trim death rates among the youngsters.
At the educational level, teaching children is compulsory and free and violence against the young is punishable by law. Delinquent juveniles are viewed from a legal perspective as victims of social circumstances, thus authorities have enacted laws aimed at helping them undergo correction and rehabilitation. The child law, recently endorsed by the parliament, serves to ensure that children are protected against abuse, torture or negligence.
The legislation, in its text and spirit, is compatible with the relevant UN convention. MP Saleh Ashour, the chairman of the parliamentary women and affairs committee, said the endorsement of the law “has come late however it goes in the National Assembly’s record of accomplishments.” Although Kuwait devoted special attention and concern for child affairs, it had lacked such a law which covered all rights for children since birth till the age 18, MP Ashour said. The law tackles various issues, such as choosing a proper name for newly-born, child health, psychological, social and educational rights, in addition to provisions that ensure child protection against physical, sexual or psychological abuse.
MP Ashour said the law also stipulates that children must not be used for immoral acts, establishing care houses for treating and protecting the abused, in addition to articles that call for protecting them against health and educational negligence. Furthermore it calls for setting up children libraries in the country’s governorates, tackling some nurseries’ affairs and those of special needs. The Kuwaiti legislator added that the newly-blessed law also prohibits child exploitation by the media.
Meanwhile, Dr Seham Al- Feraij, Chairperson of the National Society for Protection of Child Rights, said the Parliament’s approval of the child law is a humanitarian and civic stride on the path of attaining full rights for the young. She revealed that the society had presented the law in its draft form to the Assembly, expressed gratitude to the lawmakers for blessing it and urged competent authorities to implement its terms.