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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Fall in human trafficking in the UAE last year, new report reveals

Courts also handed down three life sentences for trafficking,with more than half of all cases related to sexual exploition

Only 16 cases of human trafficking involving 28 victims were reported last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation has revealed.

The annual report of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking says that ten of these were related to “sexual exploitation” and that 48 alleged traffickers were facing prosecution.

Two suspects out of the seven found guilty of human trafficking in 2017 were given life sentences, while nine more verdicts are expected this year.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, said the figures highlighted the UAE’s commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and combatting human trafficking.

The previous report for 2016 showed there had been 25 cases involving 34 victims, mostly women and children, and three life sentences.

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According to the latest report, more than 71 training programmes to raise awareness among employees had now been implemented, helping nearly 6,000 people.

They included new “Tadbeer” centres for support service workers, established by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation last year as part of the Domestic Labour Law.

In addition, the National Committee had signed six agreements with other countries to control trafficking, and pledged $100,000 (Dh367,320) for the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons at the UN General Assembly in New York last September.

Graduation ceremonies for the second and third batches of an anti-trafficking diploma had taken place. The qualification is the first of its kind in the region.

The diploma was created in 2015, with Dubai Police, the Dubai Judicial Institute and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

It offers investigative skills and ways of protecting and rehabilitating victims, as well as covering national legislation, international conventions and best practices.