25 October 2015

Dubai Police launches drive to stop sex trafficking of housemaids

?Maids are often lured to run away from their sponsor with promises of a better life and more money. But then they find themselves forced into prostitution,? Al Murr said. ?There has been a reduction in the instances of this crime and number of victims, but still we want to put an end to this.? The newspaper cited figures provided by Colonel Abdul Rahman bin Shafi, director of Dubai Police?s General Department of Organised Crime, which showed UAE authorities recorded 37 human trafficking victims in 2012, of which 13 were maids. In 2013, the number dropped to 13 victims, including four maids. Last year six cases were reported, of which three were maids. The average age of victims was 21-years-old. To tackle the issue, Dubai Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness of trafficking scams among recruitment agencies and local communities. As part of the campaign, Dubai Police officials are to visit 111 recruitment offices across Dubai and distribute information pamphlets in nine languages among those arriving at Dubai?s airports. Additionally, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs will help to spread awareness among domestic workers seeking employment in the UAE. Dubai Police has also promised that trafficked housemaids will not be prosecuted, as fear of being arrested for prostitution or absconding from sponsorship is one of the main reasons trafficked housemaids do not seek help. The campaign will continue for two years and its success will be monitored. Saeed Al Ghafli, assistant undersecretary for Federal National Council Affairs, as saying the campaign is part of a national strategy to combat human trafficking and prevent ?debt slavery? ? where workers are forced to work off their debts to recruitment agencies that bring them to the UAE.