In her statement, Amiera Obaid AlHafeiti, Second Secretary at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN, stressed that a strategy of prevention including sustainable and inclusive development for all was essential to address the root causes of trafficking in persons.
She noted that trafficking in persons has extended to all corners of the globe, leaving no country impervious to its impact, and hoped that the Security Council discussions on the subject will assist member states in confronting the role of conflict and instability in intensifying the problem of human trafficking.
Ms. AlHefeiti added that trafficking in persons has been a source of concern to many countries, especially in the Middle East, where wars and displacement have torn apart communities and destroyed social protections, leaving many vulnerable to acts of terror committed by Daesh and other extremist and terrorist groups. As a result, innocent people are forcefully recruited into these groups as combatants and labourers.
“In exploiting the vulnerable, women and girls are disproportionately affected. As a global champion of gender equality and women?s empowerment, the UAE believes that this is cause of grave concern,” expressed AlHefeiti. She warned that as women are cornerstones of their families and communities, any crimes against women have major implications for all of society.
Regarding the UAE?s efforts in addressing human trafficking at the domestic and global level, AlHefeiti outlined the country?s strategy, noting that since 2007 the UAE has strengthened legal frameworks, national policies and social infrastructure to help combat this issue.
Through its comprehensive strategy, the National Commission Against Human Trafficking monitors incidence and rates of prosecution to hold perpetrators accountable. The commission works with the agencies to assist and support survivors of trafficking, as well as trains law enforcement entities on anti-trafficking, and increases public awareness of the crime across the nation.
Ms. AlHefeiti stressed that in order to truly eradicate the problem, the UAE is not only working to combat trafficking within its borders, but also cooperating with countries where trafficking originates. This is achieved by working alongside governments to establish legitimate migration channels by promoting rule of law to protect citizens and offering economic opportunities. To this end, the UAE has signed MoUs with five countries, most recently India, to address the conditions in countries of origin.
In conclusion, she called for two interventions to combat human trafficking at international level in dealing with this crisis. First, to holistically integrate responses by advancing cooperation between public and private sectors. Secondly, as human trafficking is inherently linked to the current state of global migration, the agreement on and adoption of the forthcoming Global Compact on Safe, Regular, and Orderly Migration must include stipulations that address human trafficking.