DUBAI // An awareness campaign to teach people about human trafficking will be launched as part of efforts to tackle the problem head-on. The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) yesterday announced the publicity strategy, stressing that special attention would also be paid to the treatment of the UAE's 268,000 domestic workers. Details of the campaign are still being determined, but the NCCHT will target Emiratis and expatriates with multilingual material setting out their legal rights and the tough penalties for trafficking. The NCCHT hopes the campaign, which is expected to begin after Ramadan, will act as a "deterrent" for criminals.
The country has made progress in addressing the problem of human trafficking but aims to make further improvements, according to Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and chairman of the NCCHT, which was formed in 2007. "Human trafficking is a crime that is totally unacceptable and it is our responsibility as a member of the global community to do everything in our power to combat human trafficking," he said in a statement.
At its latest meeting the NCCHT announced its determination to focus on ways of providing greater protection for domestic workers including nannies, maids and drivers, in line with a recent Cabinet decision. Efforts are being made to make it safer for victims of trafficking to come forward and the committee is working closely with organisations such as the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, established last year, and the women's shelter being launched in the capital under the auspices of the UAE Red Crescent Authority.
Federal Law 51, introduced in 2006, was the first legislation to define the crime of human trafficking and prescribe punishments, ranging from one year to life in prison and fines of up to Dh1 million (US$273,000). As part of the NCCHT initiative public prosecutors, police and other government agencies will undergo further training, particularly in the application of Law 51. @Email:email@example.com