19 January 2014

UAE’s challenge in human trafficking fight

There is a dangerous category, which must be inspected immediately, the medium, which is not as urgent and a third category that includes organisations that can be inspected later.

According to Al Zarouni, who spoke during the third Combating Human Trafficking Forum, only one case of human trafficking was reported in 2010 from these inspections.

Human trafficking is not considered a growing problem in the UAE, with only 47 cases reported in 2012. The highest number of human trafficking cases since records were kept in 2007 was 54 in 2010, said Saeed Al Gafli, executive director for Federal National Council Affairs and secretary of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.

Al Gafli said 99 per cent of the cases were not from the UAE and all the victims were trafficked from another country.

?Since the country is a target destination, there is a need to raise awareness about human trafficking not only among victims but also among the public. The message must reach employers who might not know that their actions are depriving their employees of their rights.?

The UAE?s strategy to fight human trafficking will include educating people who are usually targeted in countries abroad, since victims are being trafficked from outside, said Ahmad Al Mahrami, director of Human Rights at the UAE Ministry of Interior.

?Our main aim is to educate those who are targets of human trafficking, which is why the UAE donated Dh55 million to the United Nation?s international initiative that aims at combating human trafficking. The contribution made by the UAE went to raise awareness and educate those who are more likely to be targeted abroad.? He also said in many cases the UAE is a transit point for human traffickers.

Afra Al Basti, CEO of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWC), who organised the event said, though the number of people trafficked in the country is relatively low, the UAE?s efforts to continue fighting it is vital.

?International statistics found that 800,000 people were victims of human trafficking. Since DFWC?s inception, we have received 200 cases,? said Al Basti, who said the UAE started imposing laws and taking notice of the issue from 2007.

?Human trafficking strips away people?s rights and dignity, turning them into cheap commodities that are sold and bought like objects so we must combat this problem.?: