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UAE reports significant progress in fight against human trafficking in ninth year of campaign

UAE reports significant progress in fight against human trafficking in ninth year of campaign
5/12/2015

UAE reports significant progress in fight against human trafficking in ninth year of campaign

  • Dr. Anwar Gargash: Annual report evidence of effective participation of UAE in global battle against human trafficking
  • UAE to continue cooperation at regional and international levels to prosecute violators of UAE’s human trafficking law
  • Marked reduction in number of human trafficking cases reflects success of UAE in tackling such crimes
  • Partnerships formed with source and transit countries in framework of Strategic Plan of National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking
  • Legislation against trafficking to be updated constantly to ensure adequate protection to victims

 

Abu Dhabi, May 12, 2015: His Excellency Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, said the UAE has made remarkable progress in containing cases of human trafficking since the country launched an official campaign against the menace in 2006.

Addressing a press conference of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking to announce the results of its Combating Human Trafficking in the UAE Annual Report 2014, H.E. Gargash said the causes of human trafficking crimes are often traced to source countries, where the victims are susceptible to fraud and deception. As a committed and responsible partner in the international community, the UAE has joined hands with source and transit countries in the framework of the Strategic Plan of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, tackling these crimes through measures based on five pillars: Prevention, Prosecution, Punishment, Protection and Promotion of International Cooperation, H.E. Gargash said.

“The National Committee is focused on combating human trafficking by constantly updating legislation to ensure that the protection of the victims in line with international standards. It also coordinates follow-up actions with ministries, departments, institutions and organisations to achieve advanced efficiency in dealing with such crimes,” H.E. Gargash said.    

Pointing out that the annual report is an indication of the active participation of the UAE in the campaign against human trafficking, H.E. Gargash said the country will spare no effort in strengthening the strategic action plan pursued by the UAE government against this menace.

The minister pointed out that recognising the importance of public awareness on the definition of arrivals to the UAE under Federal Law No. 51 of 2006, and in particular the amendments of 2015, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking will carry out comprehensive awareness campaigns and guidance programmes.

H.E. Gargash stressed the UAE is moving forward on cooperation efforts with law enforcement agencies regionally as well as internationally to prosecute violators of the UAE’s laws on human trafficking, demonstrating year after year the country’s firm intention to clamp down on this crime.

Legislation against human trafficking

The annual report on Combating Human Trafficking in the UAE highlights the permanent pursuit of the UAE to develop legislation to address the psychological effects of this crime and provide adequate protection to the victims. The year 2015 witnessed issuance of Federal Law No. 1 of 2015, which included a number of amendments to the Federal Law No. 51 of 2006. These amendments have helped secure greater rights for the victims and achieved the exchange of information and best practices with members of the community as well as the international community, highlighting the position of the UAE on this issue.

H.E. Gargash pointed out that the amendments have eased the collection of evidence and streamlined the investigation procedures, offering legal support to the victims in their own language to enable them to express their legal and social requirements. The amendments also make provisions to provide medical support and counselling for the victims besides providing them adequate security. Based on the new legislation, victims and witnesses need to remain in the country only if necessary as part of investigation or trial on the orders of the public prosecutor or the court. In addition, victims are offered the support of a lawyer on request.

Reduced number of victims and cases

H.E. Dr. Gargash pointed out that as result of effective steps to address practices that come under human trafficking, the latest figures show positive indications highlighting the success of the UAE in tackling such crimes.

According to the report, 15 cases were reported in the courts in 2014, compared to 17 in 2013 and 47 in 2012. In terms of the number of victims and traffickers, 20 people were identified as victims while 46 were classified as traffickers in 2014 compared 24 victims and 50 traffickers in 2013. The decline is significant in light of 2012 figures which showed 75 victims and 149 people classified as traffickers.

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