Penalties for Promoting Explicit Content to Children in UAE

UAE is a country rich in cultural and ethnic diversity, with more than 200 nationalities. When it comes to dealing with and caring for children, however, each of these cultures has its own set of rules. Federal Law No. 3 was enacted by the UAE in 2016, which established a new set of Child Protection Laws to standardize children’s rights in the country.

As per the law, any human being under 18 years of age is considered a child. The law aims to work in tandem with other UAE laws to create a robust legal structure governing children’s rights. This includes Juvenile, Criminal, Personal Status Laws, Cyber, and Employment.

The regulation simply states that parents and guardians are committed to providing a safe environment for their children. Law enforcement authorities and child protection experts believe that a child’s best environment is with his or her parents and family.

What is explicit content for children?

The internet provides an incredible opportunity for young people to interact and learn, but it may also expose them to material that is inappropriate for their age and development. Such content is referred to as explicit content.

An unintentional quest may expose children to information that can make them feel disturbed and puzzled, whether it’s an explicit commercial, children’s cartoon videos presented in adult contexts, or a discussion supporting self-harm.

Information or visuals that may disturb your kid, content aimed at adults, misleading facts, or information that can persuade or encourage your child to engage in unlawful or harmful behavior are examples of inappropriate content. Being exposed to such content can also affect the mental health of children.

How children are exposed to explicit content?

Without supervision and guidance, a youngster can either mistakenly or purposefully access sexually explicit, excessively violent, or unsuitable material on the internet, which is not classified into age or appropriate regions. This might include gambling sites, unmoderated chat rooms, pornographic material, websites that encourage terrorism, crime, racing, etc., swearing-related content, and many more.

Most youngsters are unintentionally exposed to explicit content when they type in a web address or terms erroneously into a search engine and end up on a website they did not mean to visit. Children may be exposed to such content through various means, such as:

  • Unanticipated search engine results
  • Clicking mysterious links
  • Opening a pop-up
  • Accessing prize offers or online games
  • Typing an inaccurate web address

The law in the UAE

The United Arab Emirates is recognized for its strict rules and enforcement. Expats and tourists frequently struggle to comprehend them. Although the UAE law appears to be harsh, it is not.

According to the UAE Federal Public Prosecution, it is illegal to circulate any content aimed at children that encourages behavior contrary to public order and morals.

As per Federal Law No. 3 of 2016 concerning child rights, commonly known as Wadeema’s Law, it shall be prohibited to publish, display, circulate, possess, or produce any visual, audio, printed works, or games for children that address the child’s sexual instincts or adorn the behaviour that is contrary to the public order and morals or that would encourage abnormal behaviour.

Violation of the act

In accordance with article 66 of Wadeema’s Law, whoever breaches the law shall face:

  1. Imprisonment for a period not less than one year and
  2. A fine not less than AED (100,000) one hundred thousand Dirhams and not exceeding AED (400,000) four hundred thousand.

These guidelines are being shared by the public prosecution to raise legal awareness and culture among the general public.

How explicit content affects children?

Violent and sexual content influences the way children respond toward others. It also alters the attitude towards gender and sex, violence, crime, etc. All these factors have harmful effects on a child’s health and well-being.  Some other negative effects are mentioned below:

  • There is a reduced desire to assist someone in distress.
  • The child believes it is okay to use violence to solve problems.
  • Empathy is diminished.
  • Objectification becomes more prevalent.
  • Morality deteriorates.
  • It leads to addiction.

How Bin Eid Advocates can help?

We are a trusted legal consulting firm that offers efficient, result-oriented, and cost-effective legal services. We aspire to provide you with the best possible service and personalized interaction.

If you observe any child sexual abuse content or other content that you suspect is illegal or abusive, report it to the authorities. Take legal opinion from our expert consultants who will guide you in all the matters on how to report the explicit content.


As youngsters remain extremely involved online at a fairly young age, the possibility and likelihood of seeing something unsuitable depend entirely on what they’re engaged in on the internet.

Every child is entitled to live in a safe environment, thanks to child protection laws. Under UAE law, all children have the inherent right to obtain education and health services. In addition, their parents or custodians have a legal obligation to meet their psychological, emotional, social, and cultural requirements. Use safe search settings, filters, and other programs to block explicit content to safeguard yourself and your family members.

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