Where sexual harassment cases are on the rise in the rest of the world, UAE has devised a strict policy for punishing the wrongdoers. It is one of the primary reasons why sexual crime or harassment cases are deficient as compared to the rest of the world. In general, the sexual crime rate in the UAE against women is as low as 1.5 per every 100,000 women.
This low crime rate indicates the solid and thoughtful approach the police department, judiciary, and people of the UAE are taking to ensure the law’s implementation. On the other hand, the government is also regularly trying to enforce better and more sensitive handling of such cases so that the victims are not further victimized because of the negative stigma attached to it. Furthermore, the women in the law enforcement departments, such as the police, are being given special training to handle cases like sexual harassment and rape cases with care and affection to support the miserable women.
What Comes in Sexual Harassment in Dubai?
When we speak of sexual harassment in Dubai, it is simply described as any statements that welcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and physical or verbal behavior of sexual natures. Describing it more appropriately, the sexual harassment cases are described as the following;
- The first is the verbal statement which is a sexual statement about a person, their body, or sexually cracked jokes.
- The next is non-verbal harassment which is done if someone is making sexual gestures or inappropriate body movements to persuade the other.
- The next and most severe is the physical harassment in which a woman has to deal with inappropriate touching without consent.
There is more to it. Here are a few of the commonly reported cases of sexual harassment that the leading advocates and legal consultants in Dubai often handle;
- Rape or rape attempt on women.
- Undue pressure for sexual favors.
- Inappropriate touching and leaning over.
- Making of sexual gestures, catcalls, whistling, kissing sounds, and movements.
- Inappropriate facial expressions, forceful hugging, spreading rumors,
Online Sexual Harassment Cases & Punishments in Dubai
The UAE’s government is closely monitoring sexual harassment cases online. The punishments for doing any sexual harassment activity would be treated in the following breakdown;
- The first is Deliberation, where the intentions of the harasser must be deliberate while conducting the crime.
- The act of sexual harassment must be unwelcome, unwanted, unrequested by the victim, and only then will it fall into the Annoyance category.
- The next is Repetition, where the act must be repetitive in order to pursue the punishment. This is punishable by the UAE’s law.
- The victim can be both women and men, and the laws are irrespective of gender.
- The next in line is the indecent nature of any perpetrator for which they will certainly be punished. However, if the case is devoid of any sexual conduct in it, it will not be qualified as sexual harassment.
Different Laws for Sexual Harassment in UAE
As for sexual harassment, the laws and punishments are according to Articles 358, 359, 361, & 362 of The Federal Law no. (3) of 1987 promulgating the penal code.
- Article 358 says that if a person commits sexual harassment case, they must be punished by a custodial sentence of 6 months or more.
- Article 359 states that if a person attempts a disgraceful act verbally or physically, they will be punished with 1-year minimum imprisonment and AED 10,000 or less in fines.
- Article 360 states that if someone is found passing lewd messages or body gestures to a passerby, they will be detained and punished for a minimum of 6 months.
- Article 361 elaborates that when someone is found engaging in lewd speeches, seductive messages, and appeals would be imprisoned for a period of 6 months and a fine of AED 5,000.
- Article 363 says if someone entices or persuades a minor female or male to practice prostitution or likewise act, they will be punished for a minimum of 2 years and a fine.
How Can You File a Complaint about Sexual Harassment?
For the victims of sexual harassment, you can file a complaint by going to the nearest police station. You can also consult your lawyer in this regard to get a first-class idea of how to launch a complaint or file a legal notice. Thereafter, based on your complaint, the public prosecutor will initiate an investigation of the harasser and prepares a criminal report.
The Final Words
After the above write-up, it becomes clear that sexual harassment cases are strictly dealt with in the UAE. No one is above the law and will be detained, punished, or fined for committing illicit activities. The rules and strict regulations make the UAE a better and equal place for all genders.