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July 14, 2024

Emirates Human Rights Association hosts symposium on occasion of World Day of Social Justice


(WAM) — In response to the United Nations’ call to mark the World Day of Social Justice, the Emirates Human Rights Association (EHRA) held a symposium, titled “United for Humanity and Dignity” to discuss various aspects of combating human trafficking and the rehabilitation of victims of the crime.

The event was organised in cooperation with the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT), the Ministry of Interior, and various national bodies and civil society organisations dedicated to fighting human trafficking and supporting victims in the country.

Celebrated on 20th February every year, the World Day of Social Justice highlights the significance of social justice for world peace, security and advancement.

The event showcased the UAE’s commitment and progress in eradicating human trafficking and highlighted the initiatives, programmes and projects implemented by the nation to address this issue, especially through the diligent efforts of the NCCHT. A leading player in the global campaign against human trafficking, the UAE was the first country in the region to enact a comprehensive anti-human-trafficking law with Federal Law 51 in 2006. Comprised of representatives from various federal and local institutions, NCCHT has implemented a five-point strategy to fight the menace of trafficking, covering the prevention, prosecution, punishment, protection, and promotion of international cooperation.

The symposium extensively covered all forms of exploitation linked to human trafficking, including sexual exploitation, sale, begging, forced labour, and other exploitative practices. It highlighted national programmes aimed at combating human trafficking, and the training and qualification of law enforcement agencies and personnel engaged in these efforts. The event also spotlighted awareness programmes initiated by the NCCHT to educate the public about the crime, its risks, reporting methods, and mobilise community action, all of which reflect the nation’s dedication to eradicating human trafficking.

Sheikha Najla Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Emirates Human Rights Association, opened the event by affirming the association’s commitment to strengthening the UAE’s fight against human trafficking. The event emphasised the crucial role of civil society organisations in countering the crime and providing protection and care for victims. The Sawa’id Al Khair Association’s participation in the symposium underscored its significance.

Nasser Mohammed Nasser Al Khatri, First Deputy Prosecutor from the UAE’s Federal Public Prosecution, provided a comprehensive explanation of the crime of human trafficking, highlighting its three main elements: the act, the means, and the purpose, as well as legal penalties for trafficking.

Major Rashid Nasser Al Ali, an expert from the UAE Ministry of Interior, discussed strategies for monitoring trafficking-related crimes, identifying victims, and leveraging modern technology to protect victims.

Dr. Maryam Al Jaidi, a Case Manager at the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children, spoke on the national victim protection system, safeguarding victims’ rights, and the efforts of shelter centres to provide protection and care through various programmes and initiatives. She shared stories of victims that illustrated the UAE’s commitment to their care and reintegration.

The UAE maintains a network of shelters to protect and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking. Since human trafficking most often begins in the home countries of victims, the UAE has signed agreements with several countries to exchange best practices on the prevention of human trafficking and enhance assistance for victims of this crime. The UAE also participates in several regional and international efforts to counter human trafficking and regularly raises issues with the Arab Human Rights Commission Charter Committee.

The symposium concluded with several recommendations to bolster the state’s anti-trafficking efforts, such as enhancing civil society’s role in awareness programmes, creating a local database linked electronically with relevant authorities, and establishing electronic communication channels for all stakeholders involved in combating human trafficking. Suggestions also included shortening litigation periods in trafficking cases, improving media content to raise awareness, promoting education in schools and enhancing training for personnel to fight trafficking effectively.

The Emirates Human Rights Association expressed its keenness to host the event on a regular basis, which will support efforts to fight human trafficking, promote a culture of human rights, and enhance community awareness on the issue.

The symposium concluded with Sheikha Najla Al Qasimi honouring experts and researchers from the UAE for their contributions.

A non-governmental, non-profit and public benefit association, the Emirates Human Rights Association (EHRA) aims to foster an environment in which individuals are not only aware of their rights and duties towards society but are also encouraged to engage in an open and constructive dialogue with the government.


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