Human Trafficking
is Threat to Societies, Says Official

ABU DHABI - Human trafficking is a dangerous global phenomenon that threatens societies and the UAE government has been working with other countries to combat the menace, Lieutenant-General Saif Abdullah Al Shafaar, Under-secretary of the Ministry of Interior (MoI), has said.

By Ahmed Abdul Aziz

Published: Thu 23 Apr 2009, 1:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:17 AM

The authorities arrested 36 people in 18 cases of human trafficking and rescued 30 victims in 2008, he said at the inauguration of a two-day symposium on human trafficking organised by the ministry in the capital on Tuesday.

Eleven legal experts and keynote speakers are delivering speeches and presenting papers at the symposium.

Human trafficking affects more than 800,000 victims in more than 155 countries, Lt-Gen Al Shafaar said.

He added that the government has been working with the international community to combat this. In 2006, a federal law on human trafficking was passed by the UAE government, which stipulates stiff penalties including prison terms from one year to life.

“The UAE is one of the countries that have undertaken the initiative to set up a law to combat human trafficking.”

The UAE law stipulates fines ranging from Dh100,000 to Dh1 million.

A Ministry of Interior report showed that the UAE courts handled 10 cases of human trafficking in 2007, and handed down three to ten years’ imprisonment to the culprits in five of the cases.

The report pointed out that 75 per cent of human trafficking crimes are committed for prostitution.

Dr Mohammed Anwar Gargash, Minister of State of the Foreign Affairs and the Federal National Council Affairs, said in his paper that the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking works on four main areas: Developing legislation and human trafficking laws; empowering the authorities concerned to implement the laws; protecting and supporting the victims; and expanding the horizon of international cooperation to combat the crime.

Dr Ahmed Abdul Dhaer, Legal Consultant at the UAE Ministry of Interior and Criminal Law Professor atCairo University in Egypt, demanded the UAE government to allow the victims to get compensation and toallow them to go to the criminalcourt directly.

He highlighted the illegality of publishing the pictures of the victims in awareness campaigns and cases.

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