Juvenile delinquency has been a severely sensitive topic in the UAE for the past several years. Being a country that people from all over the world with diverse nationalities call home, children who grow up in the UAE also find themselves amidst huge cultural differences and diverse social and ethnic behaviors. Because the UAE is largely dependent on a number of expatriates to keep their economic wheels running smoothly, it ends up welcoming people from all sorts of cultural backgrounds.
Granted that this makes Dubai one of the most colorful and diverse places in the world, it also makes for a place that is difficult for the little ones to grow up in. Overlapping values and priorities creates uproar in youngsters’ minds and often leads them on the wrong path.
Most families remain on-hand with their strong moral and cultural values while others seem to let go of it, giving their children a free reign to make their own rules and some are simply too busy to even care.
Here, we are listing down three of the most common reasons behind juvenile delinquency cases in the UAE:
Busy Parents and No Control:
Since the mainstay of UAE’s economy is the expatriate labor, it keeps the residents quite busy. When parents are busy, negligence abounds in the household, leading the children to making their own decisions and choosing the path they want with no close supervision. With no one to tell them about what is wrong and right, they become prone to performing undesirable acts and often look for role models outside of home.
Most common cases of juvenile delinquency include drug use, vandalism and theft. While UAE’s strict regulation usually keeps the crimes in check, it still abounds due to people’s lack of efforts in reporting the cases.
Bad Company, Negative Influences and Peer Pressure:
While parents’ negligence is the most common reason behind juvenile crimes, it is not always true. Many times, parents are very present and active in their child’s upbringing, and yet, someone else leads them onto the wrong path. Bad company, peer pressure and unfaithful friends often lead to the path that is to be avoided.
There have been many instances noted in the UAE, where teenagers tried to become a part of the “cool crowd” for which they were asked to do a certain deed and walk on the other side of the law. Psychologists believe that children with good families and bad friendships often live a double life; one where they show their good side to their parents and another in which they pretend to be daring with their friends.
Police authorities in the UAE often ensure that social hangout spots are closed early and they even disperse groups hanging out late at night.
Victim of Mental and Physical Abuse:
Children who have been subject to physical and mental abuse either by their family members, school teachers or their peers, often retaliate in the form of bad behavior. Racial discrimination, alcoholic parent(s), broken families or any mistreatment leads most youngsters to choosing the wrong path to vent out their frustration.
To parents, we can only say that despite their busy schedule, their children must always be their first priority. Know their friends, get them help if needed, encourage them to spend time doing things they love or get a summer job to stay busy and stay away from bad company and negative behaviors.