ABU DHABI // A special fund is to be set up to support victims of human trafficking and help them to build new lives.
The new fund will boost the work of Ewa’a, the organisation that operates shelters in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah for women and children who have been trafficked or abused.
Ewa’a will adminster the fund with the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.
“The fund will be a big help to the human trafficking victims for them to start a new life,” Sara Shuhail, director of Ewa’a, said on Monday.
“We usually give them a small budget to start with, but it’s not enough. With the new fund, the victims can start their own projects and seek medical treatment upon return to their home countries.”
Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and head of the committee, said the UAE had put in great efforts to establish care centres for the rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking.
“The establishment of the new fund will be a major initiative in supporting the victims and helping them meet the needs of their future,” Dr Gargash said.
His committee will work with Ewa’a centres to provide the necessary financial resources to support the fund.
Ewa’a shelters have been helping women and child victims of human trafficking since 2008.
In June, Ms Shuhail said they were awaiting approval to begin working on a shelter for men in Abu Dhabi.
Ewa’a was set up by the Emirates Red Crescent in co-operation with the committee. Its shelters provide psychological and medical care and oversees 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 UAE is keen to eliminate such crimes, and strengthen the co-operation with international organisations to safeguard the dignity of individuals worldwide, Dr Gargash said.
“The UAE supports all Arab and regional efforts to develop the expertise to uncover such crimes, and provide the victims of human trafficking complete protection and comprehensive care,” he said.
The strategy of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, applied in line with the international best practices in this field, is based on five Ps: prevention, prosecution, punishment, protection and promotion of international co-operation.
At a committee meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs members discussed a proposal by the International Labour Organisation for a co-operative effort with the National Committee to Combat Trafficking.
Other topics of discussion included a media campaign to educate the public about Federal Law 51 of 2006 on combating human trafficking, the United Nations Plan of Action adopted by the UN General Assembly, and the report on the British embassy’s visit to the committee in August.
In June, the UAE pledged US$50,000 (Dh183,650) in aid to the United Nations to support efforts against human trafficking.