MoI: Strict Measures and Effective Procedures to Effectively Counter Trafficking
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - Sunday, August 16th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
According to Brigadier Ahmed Mohammed Nehkairah, Head of Human Rights Department and Head of the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee at the Ministry of Interior, 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 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 organized crimes, 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 emphasized 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 organizing 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 HH 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
He mentioned that 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. He noted that the MoI realized the importance of international cooperation in combatting cross-border human trafficking crimes despite the potential difficulties and challenges. 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 the 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 emphasized 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.
The Head of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Interior pointed to the new guideline issued by the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee at the Ministry of Interior, represented by the Human Rights Department that was entitled “Reference Model on Anti-Human Trafficking Crimes from a Security Perspective”. He noted that the guideline aims to provide law enforcement with essential knowledge regarding the relevant regulations, laws, and international treaties, as the police are fully aware of its role in this regard. It also aims to enhance awareness on anti-human trafficking mechanisms to guarantee rule of law, provide protection for human trafficking victims, introduce law enforcement to the preventive procedures, and avoid human trafficking crimes and all associated acts.
The guideline also aims to provide practical explanations regarding the following: how to conduct an investigation for such crimes; how to collect evidence; what procedures should be followed in the search and investigation procedures; the mechanisms to track, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators, bringing them to justice; the rights of the victims during investigations; and the mandatory legal and security measures procedures to protect and maintain the rights of the victims and witnesses. The guideline also focuses on training aspects in order to build national competencies and to enable personnel to fight human trafficking crimes. Additionally, the guideline explains the steps, measures, and procedures that must be taken by law enforcement in the prosecution of international offenders via coordinating with international channels.
He also noted that the MoI, in its capacity as an executive entity in countering human trafficking crimes, has played an essential role in modifying parts of the provisions in the Federal Law No. (51) of 2006. The Ministry also works towards implementing international and regional agreements that the UAE has signed, translating this voluntary pledge via taking part in executing the strategy of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Committee. This strategy is based on five pillars: prevention, prosecution, punishment, protection and promotion of international cooperation. The strategy aims to efficiently implement Law No. (1) of 2015 that has modified some of the rules of the Federal Law No. (51) of 2006 which guarantees victims’ protection and care, and fosters cooperation with this regard.
He also noted that the MoI has pledged to work in accordance with a transparent methodology in dealing with human trafficking crimes by issuing the guideline as an important reference for law enforcement. He also noted that after seven years of hard work and integrating national and international competencies, the Anti-Human Trafficking Committee has built a model for fighting human trafficking and helping victims. This model serves as the launching base for all efforts related to countering human trafficking and to helping victims. It is developed and enhanced via the practices, applications, and results that are acquired from crime fighting and prevention efforts.
He also declared that the Ministry of Interior intends to circulate this model throughout all police leaderships in order to inform its leaders regarding the dangers of this crime, and to provide legal and documented help for victims. He also expressed his hopes that such efforts will be of benefit for the UAE, other parties interested in law, MoI entities, and other society members.
Colonel Mohammed Al Shehhi, Deputy Head of the Human Rights Department, elaborated on the divisions of the guideline, as the reference model consists of eight chapters. The first chapter tackles national and international legislations of countering human trafficking crimes; the second reviews mechanisms and tools of fighting human trafficking crimes at the Ministry of Interior; the third explains the preventive procedures for countering human trafficking; the fourth discusses anti-human trafficking efforts and prosecuting criminals; the fifth tackles victims protection and support; the sixth focuses on international cooperation on anti-human trafficking; the seventh tackles building national capabilities to counter human trafficking crimes; and the eighth chapter includes the appendices.
Textbox: Resolutely Fighting Human Trafficking, Protecting Victims, and Punishing Perpetrators
The United Arab Emirates is committed to countering human trafficking and to eliminating the heinous crimes from society - especially those that target women and children. The Ministry of Interior asserts its determination in fighting this crime, to protecting the victims, and to bringing the perpetrators to justice. The Ministry of Interior is working to strengthen international partnerships, cooperation, and coordination. To realize this end, the Ministry has translated the political will of the UAE into tangible procedures by adopting an efficient work plan, and by denouncing human trafficking as a criminal act that violates human dignity and leaves negative effects on development, peace, and human rights in society.
By virtue of its aptitude and responsibility for security, the MoI has been a leader in addressing the phenomenon of human trafficking. The MoI has established a sub-committee to counter human trafficking that includes members from various security, police, and social disciplines.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Committee at the Ministry of Interior was established in coordination with various sectors of the MoI and the National Anti-Human Trafficking Committee. The Committee has adopted a number of cooperative and coordinative initiatives both regionally and internationally by organizing scientific conferences and workshops, and by exchanging expertise and research results.
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The Arabic-language text of this announcement is the official, authoritative version. Translations are provided as an accommodation only, and should be cross-referenced with the Arabic-language text, which is the only version of the text intended to have legal effect.
The UAE Minister of Interior's General Secretariat, Tactical Affairs and Security Media Department
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