Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Sara Shuhail, director of Ewa'a, says the shelter for men will encourage victims to get help.
Sara Shuhail, director of Ewa'a, says the shelter for men will encourage victims to get help.

Shelter for male victims of human trafficking set to open

A shelter for male victims of human trafficking is set to open in Abu Dhabi.

The first shelter for male victims of human trafficking is to open in Abu Dhabi.

Ewa'a shelters, which has been aiding women and child victims of human trafficking since 2008, is awaiting approval to begin working on a shelter for men.

"We are in the final stages of approvals from the highest authorities. Once we get that, we will begin looking for a suitable location," said Sara Shuhail, director of Ewa'a.

Ms Shuhail said that not having a shelter for men has been one of the main criticisms the UAE receives from international bodies.

"We have yet to receive any cases of male victims but this is just a precautionary measure and, hopefully, with this new shelter it will encourage the victims to step forward," she said.

Ewa'a was set up by the UAE Red Crescent Authority in cooperation with the UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. It operates shelters in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

"Human trafficking is not an easy problem to solve, not just here but globally," Ms Shuhail said. "That said, we don't want to open new shelters, we want to fix this problem so that we can close these shelters, that's our goal."

The shelters provide everything from psychological and medical care to support, through the process of prosecuting traffickers.

Rehabilitation for victims includes activities such as handicrafts, swimming and drawing, to try to restore a sense of normality.

"The most difficult part of what we do is seeing the effects of this on children. It is very difficult to heal the psychological scars of human trafficking on children, many of whom enter the country on forged papers," Ms Shuhail said.

The shelters also provide vocational training for victims so they can find a source of income when they return home.

"We have had cases where the victim's country would not have been a safe place for them to return to. In such cases we have worked with international bodies to relocate them to countries willing to provide them citizenship and a chance at a normal life."

Mohammed Al Hammadi, deputy chairman of the Emirates Human Rights Association, said authorities were coming across more cases of human trafficking.

"Every year we are seeing an increase in the cases of human trafficking," he said. "This is not to say that human trafficking is getting worse here, it shows that our methods of detection and enforcement of the laws are improving."

The community's perception of the victims of human trafficking has also changed over the past few years.

"People now understand that these people are victims not accomplices or criminals," Mr Al Hammadi said.

"I just want to ask everyone to try to help as much as you can, don't just look away," added Ms Shuhail.

malkhan@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Thai anti-government protesters blow whistles during a rally at the Metropolitan Electricity Authority in Bangkok, Thailand. Rungroj Yongrit / EPA

Best photography from around the world April 23

The National View's photo editors pick the best of the day from around the world

 Visitors look at the medieval inventor Al Jazari’s water-powered Elephant Clock. The clock is on show at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at Sharjah Expo Centre. Photos Antonie Robertson / The National

1001 Inventions: in praise of Islam’s gifts to the world

Down the centuries, from camera obscura to designing a sail that allowed early seafarers to tack into the wind, Muslim scientists have made many significant contributions to science. Rym Ghazal and Asmaa Al Hameli visit an exhibition in Sharjah that celebrates those contributions

 Mumbai Indians fans cheer they team on the opening match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2014 at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Earn cash back with the IPL cricket in the UAE

Dunia finance promotion allows cricket lovers to earn up to 6 per cent unlimited cash back on any spending they make on a day when an IPL match is played in the UAE.

 Manager Jose Mourinho of Chelsea looks on from the dug out during the Champions League semi-final first leg match against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday. Paul Gilham / Getty Images / April 22, 2014

‘Now the game of our lives is at Stamford Bridge’ says Mourinho after Chelsea, Atletico draw

After Tuesday's scoreless draw, Jose Mourinho revealed Petr Cech's season was over and John Terry was also done unless they could reach the Champions League final.

 Khalifa Bin Zayed Air College students participate in the 2014 Innovation Challenge. Delores Johnson / The National

In pictures: the UAE Innovation Challenge 2014

The engineering competition brought together almost 100 students from across the country competing in teams to build the best unmanned aircraft.

 Former Manchester United manager David Moyes, right, speaks to Manchester United's Welsh midfielder Ryan Giggs during a training session at the team's Carrington training complex in Manchester, north-west England on April 22, 2014. Andrew Yates / AFP

Giggs a better fit for Manchester United than Moyes

The winger, who has played 962 games for the club, has been placed in interim charge of the first team and will be assisted by his former Manchester United teammate Nicky Butt.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National