End poverty to fight human trafficking

Filed on May 15, 2013

The UAE continues its efforts to combat the issue of human trafficking through cooperation with partners, said Dr Abdul Rahim Yousif Al Awadi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, in a statement yesterday, before high-level meetings on improving the coordination of efforts against people trafficking.

“The UAE has contributed to many tangible achievements through commitment and the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons”, he said, noting that the UAE also contributed to the establishment of a trust fund to help victims of human trafficking, and the release of the first report on trafficking in persons in 2012, prepared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Tackling human trafficking, he continued, depends largely on addressing poverty and weakness, as well as on building national capacities to tackle such a crime.

He noted that the responsibility of combating trafficking in persons is not the sole responsibility of the countries where the crimes take place, but is a shared responsibility with the source countries, where the victims come from. Al Awadi reiterated that home countries of victims should prevent factors that lead to the exploitation of victims, and ensure that women are not exploited on the pretext of recruitment.

The UAE official said there should be coordination between labour exporting countries and labour importing countries.

Al Awadi cited the UAE’s achievements in dealing with human trafficking crimes since the launch of the Comprehensive National Campaign for Anti-Human Trafficking in 2006 in accordance with the international measures, such as trial of those accused, protection of victims and strengthening global partnerships in this respect.

He said that the UAE implemented the Federal Anti-Trafficking law in 2006 that covers all forms of human trafficking, noting that the law was the first of its kind in the Middle East. He added that the state has implemented a number of awareness procedures through the media and at the entry ports nationwide.

He referred to the recent report released by the National Committee for Anti-Human Trafficking for 2012 - 2013 on a number of cases, and the effectiveness of the law enforcement agencies.

Al Awadi said the UAE joined the United Nations Convention against trans-national organised crime (Organised Crime Convention) and its special protocol to prevent and punish the crime of human trafficking, especially women and children. He added that when the UN initiative on human trafficking was launched in 2008, General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, donated $15 million in support of the initiative.

He underlined that the UAE government was aware of the multiple challenges associated with human trafficking crimes, a situation he said, “that requires concerted international action to tackle”. —

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