11 December 2014

Combating Human Trafficking conference wraps up

?In 2013, we confiscated tens of thousands of fake passports,? he said. ?If we keep a keen eye on spotting false documents we will surely save a lot of trafficking victims from forced work.?


Ali Hameed Bin Khatam, Chief Prosecutor of the Department of Naturalisation and Residency in Dubai and Head of the Judicial Audit Unit in the Technical Office of the Public Prosecutor in Dubai, insisted that recruitment companies should not charge workers placement fees.


?We drafted a law in 2013 prohibiting any employment companies from hiring out their employees to other companies. It is important that we educate the public on the various laws so as not to have them unknowingly participate in a crime.?


Nadia Abdul Aziz Khan, CEO of Dulsco, insisted that a standard be set for human resources and labour supply companies.

10 December 2014

UAE in forefront of fight against human trafficking

It aims at identifying the nature of human trafficking, its magnitude at the international and local levels, and seeking solutions.

Officials from the UAE and their foreign counterparts working in combating the dangerous crime and International Labour Organisation (ILO) and other relevant bodies are taking part.

In his inaugural speech, Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour, said the ministry established a section to fight human trafficking in 2010. ?The section stems from the ministry?s systematic approach which is designed to galvanise all resources for the protection of workers and ensure their material, moral and personal rights through developing an invigorated monitoring and executive mechanisms supporting the work of the inspection sector to curb the practices which might affect the stability of the labour market,? he said.

The ministry, he said, implements the initiatives which provide protection for the employees and create a decent labour environment that contributes to curbing human trafficking. On top of these is the wage protection system (WPS), which is regarded as one of the crucial tools for monitoring the labour market.
?The WPS has contributed, to a great extent, to the stability of labour relations and creating a safe environment for work,? he added.

The first session at the conference, chaired by Dr Ibrahim Al Abid, Director-General of the National Media Council (NMC), started with a speech by Humaid bin Demas, Undersecretary of the Labour Ministry, who cast light on the labour market policies for combating forced labour and human trafficking.

Bin Demas reviewed the policy of the ministry which endeavours to prevent the exploitation of workers, and said 75,000 workers had lodged complaints last year.

Saeed bin Umair Al Ghafli, Assistant Undersecretary for the Federal National Council Affairs and the rapporteur of the National Committee for combating Human Trafficking, said the UAE has laid down laws and legislation to combat the crime. The punishment varied between one year in jail to life imprisonment if the suspects is proven guilty.

He also gave out the figures of human trafficking cases in the UAE. From 10 cases in 2007, the number increased to 20 in 2008, 43 in 2009, 58 in 2010, 37 in 2011, 47 in 2012, and 19 in 2013 in which 50 suspects were involved with 24 victims. In view of the development, shelters to house  victims and centres to rehabilitate them were set up in the country.

Beate Andreas, chairperson of the special programme to combat forced labour at the ILO, meanwhile, called on the UAE to join and sign the related international initiatives and partnerships with a number of organisations and countries to raise the standard of awareness

08 December 2014

Conference on human trafficking in Dubai on December 9-10

?The UAE was the first in the Arab region to issue a federal law for combating human trafficking, which is UAE Federal Law No 51 of 2006, and also the first Arab country to create a specialised centre to combat human trafficking.? He said.


He said that they have invited private and public institutions and companies from the UAE as well as many international organisations such as the International Labour Organsiation and the International Organisation for Migration. ?Approximately 50-60 per cent of the people attending are owners of recruitment agencies.? he noted. Around 180 people are expected to attend the conference.


Maher Hamad Al Obaid, Undersecretary of Inspection at the Ministry of Labour, said the conference is a preventive measure, as human trafficking is not a phenomenon in the UAE.  ?We do not want it to become a phenomenon and that is why the UAE takes such initiatives.? He said.


He added that they are hoping that the conference results in specific recommendations, adding that this will also be a chance to benefit from others? experiences in best practices to combat human trafficking, especially among workers.


The role of government in guiding recruiting agencies and mediation agencies and the role of recruiting and mediation agencies in curbing human trafficking crimes are some of the topics that will be discussed at the conference, in addition to presenting local and international experiences in combating human trafficking crimes.

24 November 2014

Executive Director of Ewa?a meets journalists

?The victims arrive at the shelter in a bad psychological state due to the trauma and injustice that they have experienced. The shelter then works on plans for victims to help them regain their confidence,? said Sara, who presented to journalists a number of rehabilitation programmes and procedures implemented by Ewa?a.


She pointed out that the victims are medically examined once they are admitted in the shelter, and added that shelters were opened in Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah to facilitate required procedures and alleviate the victim?s burden of travelling, not due to the high volume of human trafficking victims. Sara said that the objective of the shelter is to protect human dignity and society, as well as raise awareness on the dangers of human trafficking crimes and the importance of combating it.

17 November 2014

Gargash calls for concerted efforts to protect victims of trafficking

He also emphasised the constant progress achieved by the UAE community in tackling such issues through preventive measures as well as proactive steps, highlighting the noble humanitarian message of the country.

?As a result of the hard work of the members of the committee and other stakeholders in the fight against human trafficking, all the necessary procedures have been completed to establish the fund to support victims of such crimes. The fund was announced earlier in the framework of the efforts of the committee and its strategic partners to provide financial assistance to victims to protect them from being subjected to exploitative and coercive practices. This fund will provide material support to the victims of trafficking and help them face the future with renewed confidence,? Gargash said.

Pointing out that in the next phase the committee will examine requests for assistance from the shelters in the UAE, Gargash said aid would be provided according to the procedures laid out in the fund mechanism.

Commending national communities, charities, the business community and citizens for their commitment to victims of human trafficking, Gargash called on all national institutions and stakeholders to actively contribute to the fund. This would be a show of solidarity by the entire UAE community to the efforts to ensure human dignity and in line with the message of the UAE to support the weak and the oppressed and help them regain their rights to lead dignified lives as guaranteed under the country?s laws, Gargash said.

The minister said the UAE has become one of the most active countries in the world in combating human trafficking, and is in the forefront with efforts to support victims of such crimes. The UAE is committed to constructive dialogue and fruitful cooperation to eliminate the menace of trafficking and ensure decent human life to all, irrespective of their race or national affiliation.

During the meeting, the committee examined the US State Department report on human trafficking for 2014, and letters from shelters and private centres on the mandates of the second meeting of the board of directors of the shelters for victims of human trafficking. The committee also addressed issues relating to the transfer of the victims from one shelter to another, and reviewed an invitation from the World Foundation against Child Labour to the launch of a one-week global campaign against child slavery, which will begin on November 19 in London.

The committee looked at the request of ?Polaris Project? to visit the UAE to discuss efforts to combat human trafficking, and reviewed the field study on the phenomenon of human trafficking in the Arab region. It also discussed the voluntary reporting system on the smuggling of migrants in the context of ?The Bali Process?.

The committee agreed on including the UAE in the Blue Heart Campaign. Gargash stressed that joining this campaign reflected the committee?s support for international efforts to combat human trafficking.

The Blue Heart campaign was launched by the United Nations in 2009 to raise awareness of millions of people around the world to the plight of victims of human trafficking and directing global public opinion against this crime.

25 October 2014

French Police Experts Praise MoI’s Efforts Regarding Human Rights

The course, attended by 25 staff members from various Abu Dhabi Police directorates, was moderated by Lieutenant Colonel Jerome Vial, Deputy Director of Regional Security in the Alpes-Maritimes in France and Major Jean Luc Lessly, Head of Community Prevention and Protection Units, Regional Security Department in the Alpes-Maritimes, France. Lieutenant Colonel Saleh Saeed Al Amoudi, International Cooperation Branch Manager at the Training Department also attended the specialized course.

Major Jean Luc Lessly, Head of Community Prevention and Protection Units, Regional Security Department in the Alpes-Maritimes, France, said that the UAE Ministry of Interior is leading others by example in the area of human rights and combating human trafficking, by qualifying its police and security personnel and enhancing their competencies according to the best international standards.

Majors Christian Whitling and Pierre Oberdyn of the French Police, who supervised the “Suspects Interrogation Techniques” course, stressed that the Abu Dhabi Police respects the rights and dignity of the suspects undergoing interrogation according to the highest humane standards. They also compared the similar interrogation techniques adopted by both France and the UAE. These statements were made during the graduation event of a specialized course that included 14 staff members from various departments at Abu Dhabi Police. The “Suspects Interrogation Techniques” course, which spanned over the course of five days, tackled a number of specialized police topics.

German Experts: Abu Dhabi Police Achieve Outstanding Development in the field of Traffic German Traffic experts from the German Ministry of Interior praised the traffic safety levels in Abu Dhabi and the distinguished development in the efforts to achieve the highest levels of traffic safety and to reduce traffic accidents. They also expressed their admiration for the diligent efforts exerted by the police to boost the culture of traffic awareness for road users. The experts made these remarks while attending the graduation ceremony, which marks the completion of the traffic safety course they moderated. . The course, which was attended by 13 staff members from the Abu Dhabi Police, tackled “Strategic Traffic Security: Principles and Procedures” and featured a presentation of models from Baden-W?rttemberg, Germany; as well as an overview of the traffic security situation in Germany.

24 October 2014

Human trafficking victims have the right to assistance, argue advocates

This is so ?because of the dire need for economic improvements and the development of technology that has made people be easily tricked into it.?


He said human trafficking could only be resolved if governments address the victims? needs and rights, acknowledge their ?precarious situation, and provide adequate public-private support systems as well as compensation.


Elobaid stressed that human trafficking victims have the right to assistance because ?they are human beings and human trafficking is a violation human rights.?


He mentioned of their rights and which are: the right to life, the right to personal freedom, the right to domicile, the right to freedom of expression, and the right to redress and compensation.?


When this reporter cited that there are governments exerting multi-sectoral efforts and partnerships with other countries to curtail the global plague, but then it also boils down to the decision of people who consequently become ?willing victims,? Elobaid said: ?Even if they brought it upon themselves, they must not be punished.?


?We should be diligent in all our decisions. But the fact that we make mistakes does not make us subhuman. We must not be cold-hearted,? he added.


Elobaid stressed that all labour-sending and labour-receiving countries must intensify the campaign against human trafficking because taking care and looking after their citizens are their responsibility.


DFWAC director general Afra Al Basti said all human trafficking predators must pay for their crime and all the victims must be properly compensated.


Citing DFWAC records, she said the government agency received 15 cases of human trafficking in 2013 as referred by the Dubai Police.


Many were originally from Asia, either illiterate or university graduates, whose ages ranged from six months to 33 years old. The six-month-old baby was sold by her mother and one of the four children under 18 years old had been forced to beg.


Dubai Police Anti-Human Trafficking Crimes head Maj. Mansour Al Shamsi said human trafficking cases in the UAE have dropped in the last three years.


He said authorities are continually strengthening their force against human traffickers through partnerships with other police agencies from other countries such as France, Italy and the US.


Al Shamsi added that as a protocol, Dubai Police work closely with the International Criminal Police Organisation, otherwise known as the Interpol, for the solution to human trafficking.


Kuwait City Judge Waleed Al Mathkour recited an Arabic poem about human trafficking, the essence of which is that everybody is equal and so no one has the right to trample down on anyone.


These anti-human trafficking advocates are participants in the Oct. 20 to 23 ?Regional Training on International Cooperation and Effective Remedy for Victims of Trafficking in Persons? organised by the UNHROHC-DC and the DFWAC.


The goal of the workshop, held on an annual basis in a Gulf country and for the first time hosted by DFAWC, is to be able to fortify ways and means to combat human trafficking on the multi-sectoral level.


Workshop recommendations shall be forwarded to the UNHROHC-DC for review and implementation on the ground by all the governments.

02 October 2014

UAE supports international efforts to fight human trafficking

The UAE also succeeded in reducing the proliferation of human trafficking through partnerships and agreements it concluded with competent local, regional and international authorities to combat and eliminate such crimes, he added.


Shaikh Hamdan stressed that the UAE strongly supports international efforts to combat human trafficking, which he described as a ?stigma? on humanity.


He emphasised that the UAE recognised the magnitude of the humanitarian tragedy facing victims of human trafficking early, and set up the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking and later established shelters for the victims as part of a comprehensive national strategy to battle this heinous crime.

30 September 2014

Rise in UK trafficking, slavery and exploitation

The NCA says there has been a surge in reports of sexually exploited children – from 38 to 128 – in the wake of high-profile abuses cases in Rotherham and elsewhere.


Investigators also found cases of adults forced into prostitution, labour exploitation, domestic servitude, or compelled to commit crimes such as making false benefit claims.

26 September 2014

Ewa?a shelter raises Dh100,000 to fight human trafficking

Ewa?a shelter has in the past warned against illegal job offers and fake advertisements. Out of approximately 11,000 Thai citizens in the UAE, between 7,500 and 8,000 are labourers and the rest are professionals.


Around 150 people were present at the event, which was held under the theme of ?One night in Bangkok?.