The concept of bona fide and the threat to the UAE’s classifieds industry

If the 7Days report is acted upon soon by the country’s authorities will this mean the end of classified adverts in the UAE? (image source: cre8network.com)

I’m playing catch-up at the moment on the blog, due to moving house and having too many things to do and not enough hours in the day. One piece which did catch my eye was a report in 7Days. The piece, which was entitled ‘UAE Interior Ministry warns newspapers against maids, tutors ads’, quotes a Major General at the UAE’s Interior Ministry as saying:

“Newspapers need to be careful before putting job adverts for domestic workers such as nannies, maids, drivers and private tutors in their publications.

“Publications need to first verify the identities of these people and confirm they are staying legally in the country before they advertise their services.”

The officer notes the numerous reports from families of children being abused by the domestic help or private tutors hired through classifieds. The Major General quotes a recent incident in Abu Dhabi when police arrested a teacher whom allegedly kissed and molested two girls during a private lesson at their home.

“The Australian parents of the girls reported the 58-year-old Egyptian man to police after their daughters, aged eight and 13, told them the private tutor kissed them and also touched the older girl during a maths lessons.

The parents told police they had contacted the teacher through a newspaper advert.”

I want to bring up the concept of bona fide or good faith, the term that encompasses a sincere belief or motive without any malice or the desire to defraud others. It derives from the translation of the Latin term bona fide, and courts use the two terms interchangeably. Just as any other party, newspapers and other providers of classified services including online sites such as Dubizzle need to trust that the other party they’re dealing with are acting in good faith and telling the truth.

To ask newspapers to do due diligence on each and every person advertising as a tutor and/or maid would seem to be a tall task. What would newspapers be asking for? How would they be able to do a background check? And for online sites which host thousands of adverts, would they even have the human resources for such a task?

Revealingly, the 7Days article ends by noting that the tutor to the Australian family had earlier been deported after he was convicted of molesting a child, but returned to the UAE by sneaking through one of the country’s ports. Maybe it’s not the newspapers who should be doing due diligence, but rather other parties?

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