20 December 2016

UN chief underlines need to tackle root causes of human trafficking


“If conflict gives oxygen to traffickers, human rights and stability suffocate them,” Mr. Ban told the Security Council today at its ministerial-level meeting on the theme trafficking in persons in conflict situations. It also featured briefings from Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), And Zainab Hawa Bangura, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
“We need strategic leadership in ending war ? and also in preventing conflicts and sustaining peace,” added the Secretary-General, noting the UN?s commitment to supporting its Member States in early action and in preventive diplomacy.

He further drew attention to the importance of implementing the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure that the promise of “a life of dignity for all people” is delivered, and called on all countries to ratify all international human rights, refugee, labour rights and crime prevention conventions, and to put efforts into their effective implementation.

“The majority of trafficking victims are women and girls. Our response must include special attention to their rights,” he noted.

He also underlined the need to decrease funding for terrorists to make everyone, and in particular those who risk being trafficked, safer.

“Da?esh, Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and others are using trafficking and sexual violence as a weapon of terror ? and an important source of revenue.

As an outcome of the meeting the Council adopted a consensus resolution, recognising the various complexities and challenges of trafficking, in which it called on all UN Member States to take “decisive and immediate action” to prevent, criminalise, investigate, prosecute and ensure accountability of those who engage in trafficking in persons, including in the context of armed conflict. /WAM

17 December 2016

Over 90% of Dubai residents aware of human trafficking, Dubai Police survey

The survey of 1,597 random samples of Dubai resident, which was carried out by Addaera Research and Poll Centre and commissioned by Dubai Police?s Centre of Human Trafficking Monitor and Control Centre, covered three categories of respondents: members of the public, public sector employees, and private sector employees.

Major General Abdul Quddus Al Obaidli, Assistant to the Dubai Police Commander-in-Chief for Quality and Excellence, affirmed Dubai’s determination to take further security measures and actions to stop crimes related to human trafficking.

”A series of resolutions, measures and programmes will be introduced under the strategy of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking,” he added.

”The survey aimed at assessing results of efforts made by the government to combat human trafficking crimes since the Federal Law No. (51) of 2006 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes was issued and the committee was set up in 2007,” he indicated.

”The important findings and valuable recommendations of the survey will have a far-reaching impact on the development and improvement of mechanisms and tools for fighting this crime,” he added.

In presenting the results of the survey, Hana Lootah, Executive Director of Addaera Research and Poll Centre, said 79 per cent of respondents have high awareness of the presence of anti-human trafficking laws in the country.

”Some 48 per cent of the members of the public are aware of the definition of the concept of human trafficking against 49 per cent and 41 per cent for those from the public sector and private sector, respectively,” she noted.

With regards to the UAE?s efforts in combating the crime, she said 33 per cent said that they were fully aware of the efforts, 35 per cent said they were somewhat aware, while the remaining said they were unaware.

Interestingly, 68 per cent of the respondents said they received their information on human trafficking from the print and audio-visual media, while 47 per cent received it from awareness campaigns, lectures or workshops, and 24 per cent learnt about it from victims, she said.

The respondents stressed the need for strict penalties against traffickers with approval of 95 per cent, 96 per cent and 97 per cent by the members of the public, private sector employees and public sector employees, respectively.

The survey recommended the launch of extensive campaigns across the nation to raise public awareness about the crime and efforts to combat it.

Police personnel should undergo intensive training to build their capacities professionally and academically so as to be able to detect the crime.

The recommendations also included healthcare and support programmes to facilitate rehabilitation and re-integration of victims into the community so as to lead a safe life. Social partnerships with other stakeholders, particularly the health sector, should be bolstered and human trafficking laws should also be explained widely, especially at points of entry and exit.

Media should also play an effective, increasing role as a key source of information to raise public awareness and support anti-human trafficking efforts. /WAM

15 December 2016

On the 45th Anniversary of the National Day

Ewaa shelters are considered the official body in the UAE to receive and house victims of human trafficking from the relevant national entities, including police departments and public prosecution. The shelters provide first aid, support, and a safe refuge for victims.

Shuhail pointed out that the victims receive medical and psychological care from Ewaa Partners once they arrive at the shelters, in order to cope with their health issues and psychological traumas. Victims also get legal support, which helps them focus more on healing and rehabilitation process.

Prevention of human trafficking is one of Ewaa?s main objectives, and this is carried out jointly with partners and stakeholder entities.

Rehabilitation varies significantly from one victim to another. Ewaa offers a wide variety of activities that guide the victims in their way back to normal life, as these activities help them recover from their terrible experience.

Speaking about the number of Ewaa shelters in the UAE, Shuhail pointed out that ?there is one shelter dedicated to women and children, and another for male victims? in Abu Dhabi, adding that the need for other shelters in other emirates is not because of the large number of victims, as the Abu Dhabi facility can house 60 victims at the same time. Yet, the other shelters are often needed due to the investigation procedures in distant emirates.

Regarding the kind of support provided by the shelters to the victims, the General Director of Ewaa said that support and services offered to human trafficking victims pass through 3 stages: the first one is before actual sheltering, and it is provided via the hotline, the website, participation in the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking?s awareness campaigns, ease of communication, funding the centers, and receiving the victims. As for the second stage, it involves assisted living services, health-related services, social and psychological rehabilitation, training sessions, and monitoring legal cases with official bodies. And finally the third stage is when the victim voluntarily leaves the shelter. This stage involves communication with similar centers in the victim?s country, offering financial aid and job opportunities, and finally the victim?s departure.

Shuhail unveiled the number of victims received by Ewaa shelters in 2016, saying that there was a significant drop this year as the facility received 14 victims; 10 from Asia, 3 Africans, and only 1 victim from East Europe.

It is worth noting that Ewaa shelters received about 17 human trafficking victims in 2015, 17 in 2014, 23 in 2013, 24 in 2012, 43 in 2011, and hit a record of 71 victims in 2010, after receiving only 38 in 2009.

She said that the number of victims is constantly diminishing due to the concerted efforts of the UAE to fight this crime through the national anti-trafficking bodies.

14 December 2016

First “National Agencies Forum on Human Rights” Recommends Creation of Nationwide Database

It was held at the Hilton Capital hotel in Abu Dhabi as part of the Ministry of Interior’s celebrations of The International Human Rights Day which is celebrated on 10 December every year.

Al Shafar affirmed the Ministry’s commitment to promote awareness of respect for human rights and protection of basic freedoms and dignity of the community members which are guaranteed by the UAE constitution and are derived from our religion’s lofty values.

The forum opening was attended by Major General Dr. Nasser Al Raisi Inspector General at the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Abdul Raheem Yousef Al Awadhi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, Maher Al Obad, Assistant Undersecretary for inspection at the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization, Dr. Hatim Ali director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to the GCC states, Brigadier Ahmed Nukhaira, Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior, and a number of police officers and human rights professionals at the Ministry and other concerned institutions in the country.

The first session, which was chaired by Dr. Ibtisam Al Ketbi, UAE representative at the advisory committee of GCC countries, included several papers. She first praised the Human Rights Department for organizing the forum which highlights the UAE cultural image in the field of human rights.

Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Aamina Ali Al Muhairi reviewed the UAE recommendations and plans on human rights which mainly focused on the workers’ rights, civil liberties and woman rights, among others.

The second session was chaired by director of Human Rights Department at Dubai Police Brigadier Mohammed Abdullah Al Murr. It included three papers, the first one was presented by Jassim Al Naqbi head of human rights committee at the Federal National Council; the second paper was given by Head of Human Rights Office at the Judiciary Department Fatima Abdul Raheem Al Badwawi; and the third paper was delivered by Chairman of the UAE Human Rights Society Mohammed Salim Al Kaabi.

At the end of the Forum, corporate communication manager of Ewa?a centers Maitha Ghanim Al Mazrouie reviewed the Forum’s recommendations which included: holding of annual coordination meetings between the official bodies and the civil community organizations, providing human rights workers with the required knowledge and skills, participating in the regional and international conferences and events on human rights, creating and constantly updating human rights database across the UAE, and implementing programs to educate the public about human rights.

As part of the event, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior has honored the Forum’s speakers and session moderators as well as contributors to the success of the human rights diploma. He also attended the graduation of the first batch of the “Human Rights Diploma” and recognized top achievers.

He also opened the human rights exhibition where many government departments have showcased their awareness publications on human rights.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has showcased its smart inspection system while the UAE Human Rights Society has participated with a number of publications about the laws and the agreements signed by the UAE have on human rights.

Also showcased was the Aman, a service that encourages the public to report crimes by calling toll free 8002626 or sending SMS to 2828.
The Community Police Department at Abu Dhabi Police has also demonstrated its efforts on crime prevention and children protection. The Culture Respect Bureau and the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior have participated with a number of outstanding publications.


26 November 2016

Committee on anti-human trafficking discusses latest situation

The meeting heard a presentation about an anti-human trafficking diploma programme developed by the Human Rights Department of the Dubai Police. The programme, the first of its kind in the Arab world, aims to provide practical training and experience to deal with this type of crime. The programme will contribute to the country?s efforts in the fight against human trafficking crimes.

The committee also reviewed measures taken by some government agencies including the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, regarding a report circulated on social media about a human trafficking case. A thorough investigation found no indicators confirming human trafficking or exploitation.

14 November 2016

Interior Ministry Joins in Anti-Trafficking Training for Arab Media Professionals


Mr. Abdullah Shaheen, Media Advisor and Press Manager at the Security Media Department in the General Secretariat of H.H. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior?s Office, submitted in the working paper a number of remarks and media guidance regarding the basics of press coverage of human trafficking crimes.

Mr. Shaheen stressed the commitment of the Ministry of Interior, as represented by the Media Security Department, to keep channels of communications open with the audio, print, and visual media by holding joint meetings periodically to discuss and illustrate everything about these crimes.

He also highlighted the media campaigns and the academic and training programs being prepared and organized to raise awareness about the inherent dangers of trafficking crimes and their psychological and social impacts, especially those related to child sexual abuse via the internet. Shaheen added that the Ministry has particularly created a database for human rights and developed a unified mechanism to be implemented in all police stations nationwide, by which any expatriate held in custody may communicate with the relevant Embassy or Consulate, as per the approved regulations.

Mr. Shaheen said that the Ministry held several awareness seminars to promote the legal values among different social and labor sectors in order to raise the cultural and rights-related awareness in the community as a whole.

It?s worth noting that the Anti-Trafficking Training Program for Arab Media Professionals aims at introducing the UN principles and standards regarding the media and press role to combat human trafficking. The training also offers a number of practical tools that can be used to implement these global standards.

The program aims also to improve the capabilities and awareness of the pan-Arab media and press outlets regarding human trafficking and boost national and regional cooperation and communication among the concerned entities and pan-Arab media outlets.

For his part, Dr. Hatem Aly, Regional Representative for the UNODC Sub-regional Office for the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries, commended the strategic partnership between the United Nations, as represented by the UNODC, and the Ministry of Interior?s Media Security Department, stressing its role in boosting and shedding light on the combined efforts of the relevant anti-crime entities, especially those combating human trafficking crimes.

10 November 2016

Geneva Centre and Emirates Association for Human Rights Discuss Joint Cooperation



The meeting was held at the Centre?s headquarters and was attended by Mr. Mohamed Al-Shamsi, Board member of the GCHRAGD.

Al Qassim expressed his appreciation of the objectives of the Association and its staff efforts to promote the human rights culture and awareness in the local community.

He pointed out that this approach has helped the UAE to be ranked the world’s top in peaceful co-existence among the diverse nationalities, living in the UAE (200 nationalities), not to mention the inherent harmony and cohesion between them, as accredited by UN human rights organizations.

Al Qassim added that these indicators helped launch a new initiative to build the Geneva Centre for Human Rights in 2013. The Centre holds several human rights events and research activities and training programs that are aimed to promote social awareness on this issue.

For his part, Mohammed Al-Kaabi valued the Centre?s vision and strategy, stressing the Association?s keenness to benefit from the Centre?s programs and expertise by means of joint cooperation between both sides.

Al-Kaabi stressed the importance of exchanging experience between staff from both sides in order to enhance their practical performance and to achieve the joint goals of the Centre and the Association. (WAM) 

10 November 2016

Graduation of 22 specialists on combating human trafficking

”The degree, the first of its kind in the Arab World, aims to qualify an elite group of government employees to handle such crimes with high professionalism and competence,” he noted. They gained theoretical and practical skills and knowledge on mechanisms to detect and prevent crimes in human trafficking, help and protect victims, offer psychological support for them and fight all forms and manifestations of the crime.

He said that 1,635 trainees had participated in 40 workshops on combating crimes related to trafficking in human beings and 16,647 people had benefited from 56 awareness lectures organised by Dubai Police’s Human Trafficking Crime Control Center (HTCCC).

He said Dubai Police in partnership with the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) launched two campaigns from 2013 to 2015 to educate arrivals through Dubai International Airport about the danger of the crime. Over the last two years, an awareness campaign targeted domestic helpers recruitment agencies.
Addressing the ceremony, Dr. Abdul Rahim Al Awadi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation for Legal Affairs, the launch of the programme was a creative idea and supported the government’s effort to fight the human trafficking crime.

” Seventeen cases of human trafficking was registered in 2015 under Federal Law No. (51) of 2006 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes, an indicator of the success of the campaign launched by the government ten years ago,” he said in his an address read on behalf of Addressing the ceremony on behalf of Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of NCCHT.
”The UAE’s anti-human trafficking experiment has become a leading model globally,” he added.

The anti-human trafficking diploma programme includes all issues related to international agreement in human trafficking which will help officials develop techniques needed for investigation and protection of human trafficking victims.

The training programme is in line with the strategy of the NCCHT that focuses on four issues – prevention, penalty, victim care and enhancing international cooperation.

20 October 2016

Big Heart Foundation and UN Women collaborate to strengthen role of women

She stressed the importance of continuing to build partnerships and alliances among governments, international organizations, civil society organisations and youth groups to change negative gender stereotypes, and to protect women from the threats of armed conflicts, humanitarian crises and the waves of extremism ripping through the region. “Focus should also be given to women?s economic empowerment as a mean to fight poverty, and to engaging men and boys in the struggle for gender equality in the region,” she added.


Participating experts called for the mainstreaming of gender in all plans, policies and programmes, which are aimed at empowering, protecting and supporting refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs); the pursuing of practical targeted actions that address the needs and rights of women and girls and the engagement of men and boys as partners for gender equality.


The experts acknowledged the findings of the Global Study on Women, Peace and Security, which reported that the chance of a peace agreement lasting 15 years increases by as much as 35 per cent when women participate in the negotiations, Recalling the commitments made by Arab Member States in the Cairo Declaration for Arab Women and the Strategic Plan for Women Empowerment, as well as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, which calls for gender equality in all areas of public and private life and a commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the participants called on member states to create national mechanisms and develop national action plans to guarantee implementation of the Regional Strategy and Executive Action Plan on ?Protection of Arab Women: Peace and Security?.


They call upon member states to intensify cooperation with religious institutions to ensure women’s rights within Islam, as well as women?s rights in other religions practised in the MENA region; to protect women and girls from all forms of violence, particularly during wars and conflicts; to promote religious discourse which creates awareness; to ensure that women’s rights are protected in the family and society and to actively work toward a culture of peace and security.

07 October 2016

Amal Al Qubaisi meets head of women’s committee at FNA

Coutelle welcomed Dr. Al Qubaisi and her delegation and praised the progress she witnessed during her visit to the UAE during the FNC elections in 2015.


“I was also impressed with the progress made in all areas, particularly the empowerment of women,” she added.


Dr. Al Qubaisi and Coutelle stressed the importance of sharing best practices in supporting women’s rights at the global level.


Dr. Al Qubaisi applauded the role played by the Women’s Rights Committee at the FNA, including the effective contribution in developing laws which ensured that they were enacted to boost women’s participation in the political process.


She spoke about the journey of women?s empowerment in the UAE, their contribution to the comprehensive development drive and their participation in the decision-making process, which is evident in several women occupying senior posts in the government.


Al Qubaisi attributed this to the leadership’s confidence and to the Emirati society’s appreciation of the roles of women and youth and the approach to provide happiness and to champion values of tolerance.