Abu Dhabi, 22 May 2015: The United Arab Emirates is leaving no stone unturned in fighting human trafficking since the country enacted Federal Law 51 in 2006, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) said.
According to the Annual Report 2015 compiled and released by the NCCHT, the UAE has made great inroads in containing the crime during the last decade. However, "the government will intensify its campaign with each passing year, with zero tolerance as its moto and in line with international standards," the report added.
During 2015, the UAE registered 17 cases of human trafficking, involving 24 victims and resulting in the arrest of 54 traffickers. There were convictions in three cases, involving penalties ranging from 1 year to 5 years imprisonment, followed by deportation.
In comparison, 19 and 15 cases were registered in 2013 and 2014 respectively.
"The statistics suggest growing awareness about human trafficking among the public and intensifying counter-measures adopted by various official agencies, ministries and non-government organisations involved in tackling this crime," said Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary, Ministry of State for Federal National Council Affairs, and Rapporteur of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.
The report highlighted the significant steps taken in 2015 as part of the '5 Ps' strategy – Prevention, Prosecution, Punishment, Protection and Promotion of International Cooperation. These include:
- starting a two-year awareness campaign for recruitment companies recruiting domestic workers to highlight the dangers of human trafficking for sexual exploitation;
- starting an anti-human trafficking diploma course, which is a first of its kind in the Arab world, and aimed at improving the skills of law enforcement officials dealing with this crime;
- disbursing nearly 300,000 dirhams from the Fund for Victims, which is a public-private partnership;
- signing a MoU with Indonesia;
- launching a revamped website which allows people to complain and offer suggestions; and
- participating in several regional and international efforts to counter this crime; and
- finally, launching the country's biggest multi-lingual media campaign to create general awareness about human trafficking and simple ways to combat it. A number of mediums were chosen to convey various messages to different sections of the people residing in the country. For example,
- newspaper advertisements in English and Arabic were aimed at the general public, as were hoardings at airports;
- radio spots in English, Arabic, Hindi and Tagalog were aimed at prospective victims and traffickers, apart from the public in general;
- pocket-size booklets, distributed at airports, were in eight languages — English, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog, Bengali, Russian and Basha Indonesia — and were meant to support prospective victims.
Elaborating the anti-human trafficking strategy, Dr Al Ghafli, said: “The UAE firmly stands against the exploitation of human beings. The resolve to fight trafficking at home and abroad in collaboration with international partners remains central to the country's anti-trafficking strategy.”
The full report can be viewed or downloaded from www.nccht.gov.ae. or Here .