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Minister denies abuse in Social Care Home

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 16: Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Minister of State for Development and Planning Affairs Hind Al-Sabeeh has denied there was physical abuse inside the Social Care Home, based on evidence and investigation reports.

Al-Sabeeh was replying to a query from MP Abdullah Al-Mayouf who sought explanation about the incident according to which one of the boys in the Social Care Home was physically assaulted by a number of social welfare supervisors.

Al-Sabeeh stressed the ministry has issued an administrative Decision No (1600/a) of 2016 to form a committee to investigate the issue involving the victim who has been identified only as A.B. and the supervisors identified as A.S. and R. Q.

According to a narrative the victim insisted on taking a pack of cigarettes inside the facility and the supervisors tried to prevent him. The victim reportedly not only verbally abused one of the supervisors but threatened to cause him harm. At this point the two other supervisors intervened to resolve the problem and there has been no assault of any kind on the boy.

Contrary to what has been claimed by the victim that the supervisors tore his shirt and beat him, nothing of this happened, said the minister. Al-Sabeeh added the boy is ‘unstable’ and earlier is known for threatening former supervisors with a knife and beating a guesthouse driver and burning part of his hair.

He is also said to have stabbed one of his colleagues at school and was expelled from the school more than once prior to his admission in the juvenile home in 2014. With regard to referring the boy to Juvenile Prosecution, the minister said “that has not yet taken place and we would like to note that the boy was the one who called the Operations Room of Interior Ministry and filed the Case Number (865/2016) at the Salmiya Police Station.

The case is still being investigated. The minister added the ministry has formed an internal commission of inquiry on the issue of punishing the supervisors and has submitted a report to the Legal Affairs Department of the ministry and is still being investigated. She also noted the ministry applies the provisions of the Law Number 21/2015 on the rights of the child, but with regards to Articles (91, 94) of the Law, it is at the discretion of the competent court.

Meanwhile, a member of the Education Committee at the National Assembly MP Mohamed Al-Huwailah has described the decision of small business owners to participate in the tender to manage school canteens as a step in the right direction. At the same time he praised the Minister of Education and Minister of higher education Dr Bader Al-Issa for conducting an inspection tour of schools in Umm Al-Haiman and Sabah Al-Ahmed and other schools in all governorates during which he has promised to ensure better preparation for the new school year.

Al-Huwailah also lauded the minister’s recent tour to Sabah Al-Ahmed City’s schools that he will not allow increase of prices of materials provided in student canteen, pointing out that the project of canteens management by small business owners came with the aim to develop these canteens. Al-Huwailah noted this decision will contribute to solve part of the current unemployment crisis among the youth and help provide better service to students with lower prices according to the assurances given by the minister to the parents.

He said the Ministry of Education has not ignored the health aspect in its decision especially after it made sure these canteens are under the supervision of a Joint Committee of the ministries of health and education and the Municipality, which would achieve desired objectives whether at a physical level that provides income to support a school or health departments at affordable prices that do not burden the family.

Huwailah called for supplying school canteens with distribution outlets and tables for students, in addition to involving the Food Authority in the Supervisory Joint Committee, to ensure the standard of food and hygiene requirements are met.

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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