Laws against human trafficking
The UAE as a committed and responsible member of the international community has been proactive in the global fight to combat human trafficking.
Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 as amended by Federal law No.1 of 2015 was the start of the UAE's official initiatives to combat human trafficking locally and to enhance the UAE's role in the international efforts aimed at eliminating human trafficking crimes.
Under the law, human trafficking includes all forms of sexual exploitation, engaging others in prostitution, servitude, forced labour, organ-trafficking, coerced service, enslavement, begging and quasi-slavery practices. In addition, the law ensures that a person aware of a human trafficking crime and does not report it can be punished.
The law raises awareness of the crime, helps the victims, as well as protects victims and any eyewitnesses. It stipulates a minimum fine of AED 100,000 and a minimum of five years in jail for offenders.
Other laws that address human trafficking in the UAE are:
- Federal Law No. 15 of 1993 which deals with organ transplant
- The regulation on Federal Law No. 18 of 2009 which modified the process of registering births and deaths.
Fighting human trafficking
The National Committee for Combatting Human Trafficking (NCCHT) was established in 2007 pursuant to a Cabinet order to coordinate efforts and enforce plans to combat human trafficking at various levels in all the seven emirates of the federation. The Committee includes 18 representatives from various federal and local institutions.
Since its establishment, the Committee has sought to achieve its aims through many initiatives and activities including the staging of specialised meetings, visits and workshops. Today, it is seen as the UAE's official representative at international conferences relating to combating human trafficking.
For more information, refer to the links below:
Ministry of Interior initiated several mechanisms to protect human rights, particularly all forms of human trafficking. Some of its initiatives are:
- Promoting anti-human trafficking culture and awareness
- Cooperating with Interpol through exchange of information on human trafficking crimes
- Monitoring individuals involved or suspected of being involved in such crimes
- Enforcing tighter control at entry points
- Using unified criminal justice and Interpol systems to verify individuals at entry points.
Support and rehabilitation
UAE Government established the Ewa'a Shelters for women and children victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
In Dubai, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) is the first licensed non-profit shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and human trafficking in the UAE. It was established in July 2007 to offer victims immediate protection and support services in accordance with international human rights obligations.
The foundation provides free services to women and children who are victims of violence. It offers a helpline, safe shelter, case management, medical care, psychological support, counselling and legal, consular and immigration assistance. In addition to those core services, DFWAC also provides secondary support services including children's education, recreational activities, vocational services, physical fitness, all-round empowerment and skills training.
In addition, there are several social support centres under the supervision of Abu Dhabi Police that look after victims of human trafficking. They render all necessary support in co-ordination and co-operation with various relevant institutions.
There is also the General Directorate for Human Rights Protection that works under the supervision of Dubai Police and provides psychological, social and legal support to women and children who are victims of human trafficking. The Directorate provides victims with support such as temporary shelter, temporary visas and air tickets to return to their homelands.
Updated on 30 Sep 2018