Abu Dhabi: Seventy-seven people accused of human trafficking were arrested in the UAE last year in connection with 30 criminal cases involving 51 victims, said Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, yesterday.
This is a year-on-year increase of 60 per cent from 2017 when there were 48 arrests in 16 cases involving 28 victims.
“The UAE is fully committed to the promotion and protection of human rights and to continue to combat the crime of human trafficking,” said Gargash — who is also chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking — at the launch of the 2018 anti-human trafficking report in Abu Dhabi.
These achievements are testament to the efforts of our authorities, who have been working tirelessly to strengthen strategic plans, enforce laws, and implement preventive and deterrent measures, either at the national level or in coordination with international partners.
“As the protection of human dignity is a matter of great importance, we would like to take the opportunity to renew the UAE’s commitment to working closely with stakeholders at the national and international level to eliminate all forms of human trafficking and uphold the rights and dignity of all,” he said.
Gargash hailed the achievements of the UAE’s campaign against human trafficking as it entered its 12th year.
“These achievements are testament to the tireless efforts of our authorities, who have been working tirelessly to strengthen strategic plans at various levels, enforce laws, and implement preventive and deterrent measures, either at the national level or in coordination with international partners,” Gargash said.
Concerned courts, he said, have handed down seven convictions in 17 cases so far, resulting in jail sentences of up to life imprisonment, while a further 13 cases were ongoing at court with rulings expected this year.
In a statement the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking said: “The UAE has made great inroads in containing the crime during the last decade … the government will intensify its campaign with each passing year, with zero tolerance as its motto and in line with international standards.”
Gargash added the UAE believes in the benefits of enhancing collaboration with international partners, bilaterally or multilaterally, to protect and promote human rights, including the rights of victims of this transnational crime.
He said that the UAE has launched an official campaign to contain this crime through the issuance of Federal Law No 51 of 2006, amended in 2015 to provide greater guarantees for victims of human trafficking.
“The UAE will strive to focus its energies and potential on training and capacity building of its officials in the field of combating human trafficking, as well as improving partnership between the public and private sectors,” he said. “It will also enhance cooperation with other international partners to improve coordination and learn from their best practices.”
Gargash added that the UAE emphasises its commitment to combating all activities of human trafficking, given that it is a crime against humanity and because it represents a threat to the values of society.
He added that the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking is working hard on every element of its ‘5 Ps’ strategy — Prevention, Prosecution, Punishment, Protection and Promotion (of international cooperation).
Where the 77 were found:
- 10 traffickers arrested in connection with seven cases in Abu Dhabi involving six victims
- 25 traffickers arrested in connection with 8 cases in Dubai involving nine victims
- 25 traffickers arrested in connection with 10 cases in Sharjah involving 27 victims, including four children
- Three traffickers arrested in connection with two cases in Ras Al Khaimah involving four victims
- Five traffickers arrested in connection with two cases in Fujairah involving two victims
- Five traffickers arrested in connection with one case in Ajman involving two victims.
- Umm Al Quwain did not record any trafficking cases last year
(Source: UAE Annual Report of the national Committee to Combat Human trafficking 2018)