ABU DHABI/ Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, highlighted the UAE?s commitment to protecting human rights and combatting human trafficking.
He stated this during a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, while announcing the launch of the committee?s annual report for 2018, with the attendance of several members of the committee and representatives of foreign missions in the UAE.
Gargash said that the report reflects the UAE?s total transparency and its efforts to raise community awareness about human trafficking, which undermines human dignity and affects all countries.
He also affirmed the UAE?s keenness to combat this crime, as part of its commitment as an active member of the international community while noting that the UAE officially launched a campaign to combat human trafficking in 2006, by issuing Federal Law No.51 for 2006, which was amended in 2015.
He added that the committee?s strategy is based on protection, prevention, prosecution, punishment, and supporting victims, as well as promoting international cooperation, removing related obstacles, and encouraging coordination between relevant bodies, such as federal ministries, law enforcement authorities and civil society organisations.
Gargash said he believed in involving everyone in combatting human trafficking, which led the committee to organise awareness programmes in numerous languages.
He further added that the number of beneficiaries of the committee?s awareness programmes in 2018 amounted to over 240,000 people, mostly belonging to categories that are vulnerable to human trafficking.
Gargash also praised the workshops and training programmes organised by the authorities representing the committee, which have benefitted 6,201 personnel, including judges working on labour cases, police officers, and workers from ports and other relevant authorities who learnt about all forms of human trafficking, how to deal with cases, and the expertise of national and international authorities, including the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
He further said that the UAE?s keenness to combat this crime is evident through the commitment of its law enforcement personnel to confront human traffickers and deal with human trafficking victims with dignity while noting that statistics point out that 30 human trafficking cases were registered in the UAE last year.
He stated that 51 possible victims of human trafficking were rescued in 2018, who not only included women and children but also men for the first time, who are all people of determination, while 77 suspects were prosecuted, with life sentences being handed out to several suspects in six cases.
Gargash valued the support of H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union (GWU), President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation (FDF) for the committee and its members, which include the launch of related initiatives, the most recent being an initiative to provide artificial limbs and financial support to several human trafficking victims who are people of determination. /WAM