x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

UAE takes robust stand against 'heinous' human trafficking

The UAE has reiterated its support for international efforts to combat human trafficking.

GENEVA // The UAE has reiterated its support for international efforts to combat human trafficking. Obeid Salem al Za'abi, the country's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, told a session of the world body's human rights council that the UAE fully perceived the gravity of the crime. Mr al Za'abi observed that the transnational nature of the activity meant it was difficult for any country to prevent it by unilateral action. The war on human trafficking could only be won with all countries of the world joining hands on all fronts.

He was keen to highlight efforts the UAE has been making to eradicate human trafficking, including a 2006 law that specifically outlawed it. He said the crime was heinous in terms of humanity, morality and civilisation. He added that the national anti-human trafficking committee had recently organised workshops in association with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to train government staff and outside agencies on the latest ways of combating the practice.

Mr al Za'abi said human trafficking was the work of organised gangs that transported people for compulsory work, sex, organ trade or even for occult rituals. As well as considering the crime of human trafficking, the session is hearing reports from independent human rights experts on issues that include arbitrary detentions; the use of mercenaries to stop people's self-determination; and the right to food.

The session, which began on March 2 and will continue until March 27, will also hear reports on the right of access to safe drinking water and sanitation; the right to adequate housing and an adequate standard of living; and the right to non-discrimination. Further reports will consider how to fight terrorism while respecting human rights; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment; enforced or involuntary disappearances; freedom of religion or belief; minority issues; the situation of human rights defenders; and the human rights of internally displaced people.