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Unmarried Parenthood, Sexual Assault, Extramarital Affairs: New Rule In UAE

Unmarried Parenthood, Sexual Assault, Extramarital Affairs: New Rule In UAE

The new UAE Penal Law decriminalized extramarital affairs, added allowances for unmarried parenting, and broadened the definition of rape charges.

The UAE Penal Code Federal Decree Law No. 31 of 2021, which was published as part of the UAE’s greatest package of legislative revisions last month, intends to improve women’s and domestic helper protection while also boosting social cohesion and public safety. The changed law, which takes effect on January 2, 2022, amends the Federal Law no. 3 of 1987 with a number of significant modifications. The legal age of puberty has been raised from 14 to 18, which implies that victims of rape, sexual molestation, or voluntary intercourse under the age of 18 are classified as minors under the new Penal Law.

UAE Penal Law

New, more comprehensive definitions of rape

Raping a woman now carries a life sentence under the new rule. If one of the following four conditions is met, the sentence is increased to death punishment. The new rule raises the age limit for juveniles from 14 to 18 years old and expands the description of rape offenses. While the old legislation simply mentioned the death sentence for rape, the new law differentiates the penalties for raping a woman into life in prison and the death penalty for the other four circumstances. “Previously, people who raped youngsters under the age of 14 faced the death penalty. but now it covers those who rape adolescents under the age of eighteen.

Out-of-wedlock relationships are decriminalized

Under the new rule, unmarried couples over the age of 18 can be sentenced to six months in prison only if one of the parties’ wives, husbands, or custodians’ files a complaint. If the spouse or guardian chooses to drop the charges, the case will be suspended or dismissed.

Previously, under Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, living with an unmarried spouse was punishable by a year in prison. The modifications issued last year in Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 2020 decriminalized unmarried couples’ consensual partnerships. The most recent Penal Code regulates extramarital affairs by allowing a spouse or guardian to file a lawsuit. If the consenting intercourse included a victim under the age of 18, the offender will be charged with sexual molestation, which is punishable by a temporary prison sentence under the prior statute. The sole difference is that, instead of 14, the new rule lifts the age limit for young victims of consenting sex to 18.

Parenting children who were not born in a marriage

A new provision for parenting children born out of wedlock is included in the most recent UAE Penal Law. It states that anyone who engages in sexual activity with a woman over the age of 18 that results in the birth of a child will be sentenced to a minimum of two years in prison. The pair, on the other hand, will not face criminal charges if they marry, admit parenthood of the kid jointly or separately, and issue the child’s official documents and passport in accordance with the rules of the country of which either is a national or are in compliance with UAE legislation.

If the criminal is a caretaker or in a position of responsibility for the female victim or domestic worker, the penalty is increased to life or temporary imprisonment. “The old law’s prohibitions on having consensual intercourse with a minor will continue to apply, but only to victims under the age of 18, rather than 14.