Mar 15, 2009

UAE reiterates will to fight human trafficking

Geneva: The UAE has reiterated its support for international efforts to combat human trafficking. Addressing a conclave in Geneva marking the 10th session of the UN's Human Rights Council, the UAE's permanent representative to the UN's European headquarters, Obaid Salem Al Za'abi, said the UAE fully understood that human trafficking constituted a crime and that only a united global effort could provide clear answers. During the conference, which will last until March 27, the Council will deliberate on reports presented by independent human rights experts on a host of issues including arbitrary detentions, the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of peoples' right to self-determination, the right to food, rights issues related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation, adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living. Among other issues that will come up for discussion are the promotion and protection of human rights during campaigns against terrorism; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; enforced or involuntary disappearances; freedom of religion or belief; minority issues, the situation of human rights advocates; the human rights of internally displaced persons. Addressing an interactive dialogue on the issue of trafficking in persons, especially women and children, Al Za'abi said the the practice violated all notions of human morality and civilisation. Organised gangs were forcing people into the sex and organ trades besides all sorts of odd jobs for financial gain, Al Za'abi said. Such criminals even pushed unsuspecting victims into the web of those practicing strange religious rituals, he added. Being a crime that transends boundaries, no country is insulated from the phenomenon and credible results can only be achieved through collective efforts, he said. Al Za'abi sought to shed light on the efforts of the UAE to combat human trafficking and programmes initiated to eradicate the scourge. He highlighted relevant legislative efforts, especially the Federal Law No. 51 (for 2006) which calls for strict punishment for human traffickers. The UAE's National Anti-Human Trafficking Committee had also been organising workshops in association with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in a bid to get government and non-government organisations conversant with the latest techniques used to combat the crime, he said.

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