Friday, May 23, 2008

UAE Takes Tough Stand on Trafficking

By Zoi Constantine

From the National:

The UAE has underlined its determination to stamp out human trafficking in a report outlining, for the first time, a raft of measures being implemented to combat the crime. Download the report here.

Tough penalties, support to victims and co-operation with an international network against human trafficking form part of the approach described in the report from the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), chaired by Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.

Combating Human Trafficking in the UAE 2007, released a year after the establishment of the NCCHT, also covered the challenges faced by those trying to tackle the problem, said Dr Gargash. “The report seeks to document our serious efforts to combat human trafficking and to outline and articulate our four-pillar strategy,” he said. “Through a tough legal framework, preventive action, our social support network and transnational co-operation, we intend to assert the UAE’s commitment and lead role in combating this heinous crime.”

The report will be presented at a UN General Assembly debate on trafficking in June in New York. It explains the steps being taken by the UAE since the introduction of Federal Law 51 in 2006 – the nation’s first legislation to be enacted against human trafficking – which set tough penalties ranging from one year to life in prison and fines of up to Dh1 million (US$273,000).

At least 10 human trafficking cases were registered in UAE courts in 2007 under the framework of Law 51, the report said. At least five cases resulted in convictions during the year, with jail terms ranging from three to 10 years for committing, aiding or abetting human trafficking.

“The country’s resolve to fight human trafficking at home and abroad in collaboration with international partners remains central to our counter-trafficking strategy,” Dr Gargash said.

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