A first in UAE: Two women charged with forced labour

Marie Nammour
Filed on January 26, 2011

DUBAI - The Public Prosecution referred to the Court of First Instance two women for alleged human trafficking, with the specific charge of forcing someone to work without pay and sexual exploitation, for the first time, upon an order from the Dubaiís Attorney-General.

Eissam Issa Al Humaidan said on Monday that the case involved two women and two other absconding Asians, including the son of the prime accused, who have been found to have forced three women to work in a massage centre, owned by one of the women. The victims were allegedly forced to provide illegal massage and sex services, without getting paid, under threat and confinement.

Al Humaidan said the Public Prosecution implements the Human Trafficking Laws strictly and assigns the investigation and follow-up task force to book the perpetrators so that they could not escape accountability.

The case was reported by one of the victims who called the Raffa police station while she worked for the massage centre.

She reported that she was forced to give sex services and complained that she was a victim of human trafficking. The victim was brought to the UAE in February last year to work in a women’s massage centre. However, one month later, she was forced under threat to give illegal and sexual massage services to a man in an apartment on the rooftop of the same building where the centre is located.

The massage centre owner threatened her that the latter would have to pay the expenses incurred for bringing her to the country and the accommodation. She succumbed to the defendant’s demands, as she was not being paid and she did not have money.

The police learnt that three women were forced to work like this. The Public Prosecution accused the woman of exploiting the victims to work in her massage centre with the help of her son. She was believed to have taken advantage of their financial hardship to force them into obeying her. The victims were allegedly forced to work all weekdays from 9am to 1pm.

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