Brigadier Ahmed Mohammed Nekhairah, Head of Human Rights Department and Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee at the Ministry of Interior, says the number of reported human trafficking cases in the country has decreased over the past year when compared to the previous three years.
This comes as a result of: the media campaigns that raise awareness regarding the dangers of such crimes, the effective procedures and measures, and the stricter judicial rulings against perpetrators.
Commitment to Counter Human Trafficking
Brigadier Nekhairah said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has taken the initiative to address human trafficking crimes in every form by committing to the principles of justice and equality, the basis of religious and moral responsibilities, and to preserve human dignity.
“Human trafficking is considered as one of the most dangerous forms of organised crime, as it threatens the security and stability of various countries around the world.
“It is one of the most heinous actions taken against humanity and its social and ethical tenets; where victims are left to suffer the physical, psychological, and social damages,” he said.
He emphasised that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) is working hard to counter human trafficking.
In a bid to confront such crimes, the MoI has enhanced its cooperation with the law enforcement authorities through an integrated network of mutual agreements and joint measures and through the exchange of expertise and information relevant to this field.
In an effort to further reduce these crimes, the MoI has additionally established a set of procedures that include organising workshop and training courses, spreading knowledge and raising the awareness levels of those working in law enforcement in relation to the application the law against human trafficking.
“The efforts of the MoI in the fight against human trafficking are a translation of the vision of Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and of his keenness to preserve the nation’s journey of safety and security,” Brigadier Nekhairah said.
“Hence, combatting such crimes is extremely important for the MoI, as reflected in the Strategy 2014-2016, which endeavors to place the UAE among the top countries in the world in terms of safety and security.”
He continued by referring to the protection and support provided by the MoI to the victims on humanitarian grounds; in addition to its penal role, within its participation in executing the federal law pertaining to combatting human trafficking crimes, in tracking and arresting the perpetrators involved in human trafficking.
Efforts and Measures
The ministry’s strategy in the fight against human trafficking is based on working effectively in the development of countering procedures on the ground. As the UAE is one of the safest and most secure countries in the world, the ministry works to further strengthen this status and protect those living within the nation by arresting and prosecuting perpetrators, providing protection for the victims and witnesses, and by contributing within the international coordination and cooperation in this field.
He noted that the MoI has taken several preventive measures and security procedures to curb human trafficking crimes.
He reiterated that tracking criminals is one of the priorities of the countering teams within the ministry, which have adopted field plans, initiatives, and policies to track criminals and bring them to justice by activating the relevant legislation necessary for the arrest, investigation, and tracking procedures.
The ministry has adopted more than one area in the exchange of information and legal cooperation through international agreements, treaties, bilateral memoranda of understanding, and through the country’s membership in Interpol.
Cooperation and Partnership
The Head of the Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior said that the country has signed 33 agreements and memoranda of understanding to which the MoI was a party, in addition to 12 applicable memoranda of understanding with various countries.
Twenty draft agreements have been made with a number of countries in the field of human rights, specifically in the field of countering human trafficking.
He emphasised the MoI’s respect and support for human rights in various aspects, including protecting community members from all the crimes related to human trafficking. As such, the Ministry has entered into bilateral and collective international coalitions to provide protection for the community and to safeguard them from the crimes that arise from human trafficking. Additionally, the Ministry effectively participates with governmental and societal institutions to establish the standards of human rights and to combat human trafficking as both a reality and in practical application.