NEW YORK – In a statement delivered at the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Appraisal of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons on 28 September, the United Arab Emirates pledged $100,000 in financial support to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the UAE to the UN Saud Al Shamsi reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to combatting trafficking in persons in the statement before UN Member States.

The UAE welcomed the adoption of the Political Declaration on the Implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and pledged that it will continue collaborating with the international community in exchanging resources and statistics to develop best practices and expertise in this regard. The UAE expressed its support for the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, emphasizing the importance and effectiveness of the endeavor in addressing the global issue. The UAE recalled its commitments to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2007, Palermo Protocol in 2008, and the Group of Friends United against Trafficking in Persons at the United Nations.

The UAE stated trafficking in persons is a flagrant violation of human rights, and disregarded human, religious, and cultural values. The UAE also highlighted the domestic initiatives and legal frameworks used in addressing the issue of combating trafficking in persons.    As a nation which receives a significant number of temporary workers of different nationalities each year, the UAE is committed to combatting this crime and countering criminal groups that perpetrate such activity. In 2006, the UAE started a comprehensive anti-trafficking campaign and issued a federal law on combating trafficking in persons, which was amended in 2015 to provide greater guarantees for victims of human trafficking in line with the Palermo Protocol.

In 2008, the UAE established the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking Crimes consisting of representatives from concerned government agencies and civil society organizations to coordinate efforts to combat human trafficking crimes, strengthen strategic plans at various levels, and enabling the authorities to enforce laws and implement preventive and deterrent measures. The National Committee’s efforts have led to the adoption of the national strategy to counter trafficking focused on: prevention and prohibition, prosecution and punishment, protection and support of victims of human trafficking, and the promotion of international cooperation, all in line with the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The UAE shared its successes in domestic preventive and legal measures, as well as social support mechanisms addressing this crime through transparency and enhancing society’s awareness.

Domestic efforts highlighted in the statement included a diploma program on anti-trafficking to address the crime of human trafficking using a scientific approach, the role of national law enforcement agencies, as well as rehabilitation resources for victims of trafficking and facilitation of their residency or resettlement while ensuring their safety and security.

The UAE seeks to be a leader in supporting the Global UN Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and several global initiatives to combat trafficking in persons. The UAE will endeavor to strengthen its bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Member States and inter-governmental organizations in dealing with human rights issues, employment, migration, crime, and drugs.