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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Dubai film festival to tackle violence against women

Human trafficking is a major social problem everywhere in the world, including the UAE, Afra Al Basti, director general of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children said.
Afra Al Basti, Director General, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, speaks at the World of Women (Wow) Film Fair.  Satish Kumar / The National
Afra Al Basti, Director General, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, speaks at the World of Women (Wow) Film Fair. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI // Human trafficking is a major social problem everywhere in the world, including the UAE, Afra Al Basti, director general of Dubai Foundation for Women and Children said.

Ms Al Basti was speaking on the first day of the World of Women (Wow) Film Fair - a festival dedicated to addressing the problem of violence against women.

“The country of origin has to play an important role in tackling the issue. In fact the problem is more deep rooted; it starts with a weak family and social structure and lack of education and awareness.”

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) is the first licensed non-profit shelter in the UAE for women and children victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and human trafficking. It was established in July 2007 to offer victims protection and support.

Ms Al Basti said raising awareness about human trafficking and violence against victims is a major challenge for DFWAC.

“We need to educate people about this issue. We have to tell them that these girls are not prostitutes. They are victims. It is also important to educate communities like colleges and universities. Even on an individual level, we must go and ask people if we find someone in a bad situation. We have to perform our responsibilities. We have to talk about the issue. If we are aware of the issue then we could also do more to prevent it,” she said.

Ms Al Basti was speaking after the screening of the documentary “A Path Appears - Human Trafficking (USA)” by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

The WOW film fare continues until March 8.

akhaishgi@thenational.ae