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.