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UAE Firm to Stem Human Trafficking

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Dr Gargash reiterates UAE’s commitment to promote, protect human rights besides a firm stand to combat human trafficking….reports Asian Lite News

 by . Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, reiterated the UAE’s commitment to promote and protect human rights and to continue combatting human trafficking.

This was said during a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation headquarters, in the presence of several members of the national committee, representatives of foreign missions in the UAE and several local representatives of international media outlets. The annual report of the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking for 2016 was also announced during the press conference.

The minister said that issuing this report highlights the UAE’s efforts to fight human trafficking with full transparency and raising community awareness about this crime. He also emphasised that the nation seeks to cooperate with the international community to exchange information and statistics to attain best practices and expertise, with the aim of reducing the causes of this issue threatening local and international societies.

Dr. Gargash noted that the UAE had launched an official campaign to combat this crime by issuing Federal Law No. 51 of 2006, which was amended in 2015 to provide greater guarantees for human trafficking victims.

He said that the strategy of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking is based on the five main pillars of prevention, judicial prosecution, protection for victims and the promotion of international cooperation. He added that the strategy’s aim is to facilitate coordination between relevant authorities from federal ministries, law enforcement authorities and civil society organisations, to implement their policies across the UAE.

In 2016, the national committee concluded the largest awareness campaign that was launched in 2015 through advertisements in the country’s airports, with the aim of raising awareness among the most exploited segments of domestic workers. The country also participated in many audio-visual media programmes through newspapers and social media outlets and issued flyers in multiple languages.

The relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Ministry of Interior, Dubai Police and the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, held a series of lectures and training programmes in workers residences and recruiting offices, to raise awareness about the types of human trafficking crimes and ways of communicating with law enforcement authorities and shelter centres.

Dr. Gargash stressed the importance of the participation of people involved in combatting this crime during these national and international workshops, to raise their capacities in a more precise and professional manner. He also advised that the national committee has launched the second edition of the Combatting Human Trafficking Diploma for 2016, in cooperation with Dubai Police and the Dubai Judicial Institute, DJI.

He stressed that the UAE’s determination to combat human trafficking is reflected in the commitment of its law enforcement authorities to deter the perpetrators and support the victims of this crime.

He highlighted that the planning and perseverance of all relevant national authorities, including police and judicial authorities and humanitarian organisations, confirm the credibility of the country’s approach to fight human trafficking, promoting its leading regional efforts and programmes to combat this dangerous crime.

Statistics show 25 registered cases in 2016, mostly related to sexual exploitation, while three cases were related to the sale of children. Some 34 female victims were also saved from perpetrators, while the number of human traffickers reached 106.

The relevant courts issued verdicts in nine cases, with sentences that include a one-year sentence, life sentence and displacement outside the UAE. The courts are also expected to issue verdicts for the remaining cases in 2017.

Dr. Gargash also said that the UAE is aware that the motive of these criminals and criminal organisations are to make billions of dollars annually, to help them develop their human trafficking operations, adding, “however, they will not succeed due to the country’s determination to combat this crime, in cooperation with the international community.”

The national committee always participates in relevant international meetings, and the UAE has also promoted cooperation with many relevant organisations. It has signed five Memorandums of Understanding, MoU, with several countries, with the last MoU being with India.

Dr. Gargash also praised the efforts of the members of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking and relevant authorities and their employees in gaining respect for the UAE and its efforts to combat this crime.