Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Diplomatic Advisor to the UAE President and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, chaired the UAE’s delegation participating in the 3rd Government Forum hosted by Saudi Arabia, which discussed the challenges in combatting human trafficking in the Middle East.
In his speech at the event, Gargash highlighted the importance of similar regional and international forums that focus on the keenness of countries working together to eliminate this crime.
He also thanked Saudi Arabia for hosting the forum, as well as Bahrain for performing the duties of its standing secretariat-general. He affirmed the UAE’s commitment to assist in the efforts to ease the suffering of victims of human trafficking, ensure their rights, and end this crime, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
“The UAE’s hosting of Expo 2020 Dubai is a key opportunity to implement the programmes that will support the global efforts aimed at protecting human rights, most notably combatting human trafficking,” he added.
He lauded the country’s programmes implemented in cooperation with United Nations (UN) agencies, such as the regional workshop on combatting human trafficking through international airports, in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Gargash then pointed out countries in the region, including the UAE, have accepted domestic and international obligations to help combat human trafficking and protect potential victims.
“The UAE has been keen to enhance its cooperation with many countries to combat this crime and protect victims. Under this framework, the country signed eight bilateral Memorandums of Understanding (MoU). Moreover, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation signed over 15 MoUs and protocols with countries that export workers, to organise the employment process according to policies aimed at protecting them from fraud,” he said.
The UAE, represented by the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, released its annual report that highlights all national efforts to combat human trafficking, he added. He stresses that the country organised several training courses in 2020 benefitting over 2,560 specialists in judiciary, police and border control departments, in addition to raising the awareness of nearly 1.6 million people representing various segments of the community.
The world is going through unprecedented conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the UAE has taken all possible procedures to protect the community from its spread, including human trafficking victims, Gargash stressed.
He noted that the UAE launched initiatives that include providing monthly financial aid in shelter centres, and performing Covid-19 tests and offering vaccines.
Saudi Arabia hosted the third edition on November 28-19, via video conferencing, with the participation from Jordan and Egypt. It was attended by the Ambassador-at-Large of the United States to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons and the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.
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