According to article 29 of the UAE’s Constitution, “The freedom of movement and residence will be granted within limits of laws”. There is freedom of movement in the UAE, but sometimes this freedom can be objected to by law as a travel ban. A travel ban is a restriction of entering, re-entering or exiting the country, and there are different types of travel bans in the UAE; we can categorize into four (4) groups:
Concerning the travel ban for family matters, article 149 of the Personal Status Law (PSL) lays down that the custodian(mother) is not allowed to travel abroad with the Child without the prior consent of the guardian(father). Furthermore, article 157 of PSL states that the custodian must keep the Child’s passport, but in case of travel of the Child, the custodian can have it. The United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country, and the custody decisions are based on Islamic law (Shari’a Law). A parent can obtain a court order that places a travel ban for a child that will be imposed at all the airports in the country, but if a parent attempts to travel with the Child who has been placed under a travel ban, this can bring him/her legal consequences.
But how to fill a travel ban for a child in UAE? these are the steps:
The travel ban will be available in all the UAE airports. On the other hand, child abduction is the illegal removal of a minor from the Child’s natural parents’ custody or legally appointed guardian. In the international context, we can find the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Convention) that is a multilateral treaty with the main object to defend children from the injurious effects of wrongful removal and retention across international boundaries by providing a process to bring about their quick return and warranting the protection of rights of access. According to article 8 of the Convention lays down that any person or body claiming that a child has been separated or retained in violation of custody rights may apply either to the Central Authority of the Child’s usual residence or to the central authority of any other contracting State for support in securing the return of the Child. The applications must contain
Nevertheless, the UAE has not signed the Convention, but parental child abduction is a criminal offense in the UAE treated as a child custody case. A parent shall apply for custody and approval to bring the Child back to his/her habitual residence through the UAE Courts. The Federal Law Number 3 of 1987 (the Pena Code), penalizes in article 344 the act of kidnapping “anyone whosoever illegally kidnaps, arrests or detain any individual from his/her freedom by any means and whether by himself or through a mediator shall be sentenced to imprisonment.”, according to this article, parent-child abduction is considered as kidnapping, and the punishment could be imprisonment. The concerned party can apply to remove the travel ban on a child to the Court, but the applicant must convince the Court that:
Decision number 33 of 2021 issued in the Emirates of Dubai organized the liberty of travel with the Child and the travel ban resolution. As per Article 14 of the decision, the right to travel with the Child must be secured by the force of law, and protection of this right is beside the father and mother’s right. If one of the parents wish to impose a travel ban, it will be considered the following factors:
A critical advantage of this decision is that for the first time, the guardian has the right to travel with the infant for a short term even if the custodian has refused, nevertheless this right to travel with the Child of the custodian have certain conditions, such as: