“And it reflects the maturity and awareness of these entities in working with crimes of human trafficking, which are rejected by all segments of society and country laws as it has a negative effects on a person, the most important wealth on this Earth. Support by local entities showed the effectiveness and seriousness of UAE efforts, said Dr Gargash.
He said the UAE was a pioneer in supporting Arab, regional and international efforts to battle human trafficking and providing full protection for victims.
At last week’s FNC session, the 2006 federal law on human trafficking was amended to ensure a list of rights and legal protection to victims and to help the UAE adhere to the Palermo Agreement, an international protocol attached to the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. Although all trafficking victims are already referred to an Ewaa shelter, the amendments make it a legal requirement. In all investigations, victims must first be told of their legal rights in a language they understand, and be given the chance to express their legal, physical and social needs.
They will be provided with a court-funded lawyer and if they ask for, or appear to need, medical or psychological support, they must be taken to a health centre. Once court proceedings are over, the victim and any witnesses may stay in the country if they wish. Those who disseminate photographs or names of victims will be fined up to Dh10,000, amended from a Dh1,000 fine by the FNC.
The committee also looked into a number of reports prepared by local entities, including the Ewaa centres’ report of last year. Their recommendations for the coming year were also discussed.
Dr Gargash said the UAE, through applying UN initiatives, was keen to be in constant harmony with international best practices. (The National)