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Protect our children: Ban male expats from operating amusement park rides
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 03 - 07 - 2015

Fahd Bin Jolaid

It is a grave mistake that amusement parks hire expatriate male workers to operate rides as some of them sexually abuse children. Some of them touch our children's bodies pretending that they are trying to help them get into rides or to ensure they do not fall. Our innocent children listen to their instructions.

Educating our children about sexual harassment and asking them not to let anyone touch them and then leaving them unsupervised and alone in amusement parks to be touched by expatriate workers is a sheer contradiction. A few days ago, I visited an amusement park in one city and was sad to see that workers appeared to be touching children all over and putting safety belts around the sensitive parts of their bodies. I saw this happen before my eyes in various rides, including mountain climbing and bumper cars, etc.

The Ministry of Labor must step in and replace male workers with female ones at all amusement parks inside or outside malls. Only Saudi women should be allowed to work in these places. Expatriate male workers should be banned and not allowed to work in amusement parks.

Leaving the situation unresolved poses a great danger to our children. The authorities should step in and pass laws requiring amusement parks to only employ Saudi women to operate rides. Most rides are not complicated and I am sure Saudi women can learn how to operate them quickly and easily.

Our children are often left unattended in amusement parks with maids and away from their parents. Mothers go shopping while fathers believe that their responsibility ends with simply dropping their wives and children off at amusement parks and giving them money. What is happening inside our amusement parks proves that sexual abuse of children is on the increase. It is a crime that needs to be stopped by replacing these expatriate workers with Saudi women. Oh Allah! Bear witness that I have conveyed this message.

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