NEW YORK – November 24, 2021 – The United Arab Emirates stressed the importance of concerted, international efforts to combat human trafficking during the United Nations General Assembly high-level meeting on the appraisal of the Global Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The UAE praised the Plan as an important tool for unifying global efforts and emphasized its commitment to action on the issue.

The UAE highlighted its National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, which was established in 2007 and has created a variety of initiatives and programs on the issue.

In its statement, the UAE noted three focus areas, each of which is part of its national strategy, that contribute to combating human trafficking: prevention and capacity building both nationally and regionally, victim-centered legal and social protection for victims, and promotion and commitment to international cooperation. The UAE noted its launch of awareness programs and campaigns to inform individuals about the dangers of human trafficking, ways to stay safe, and methods to report human trafficking.

The UAE intensified its efforts to develop precautionary plans and measures to protect victims of trafficking, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement highlighted the UAE’s ‘Specialist Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons’, the first of its kind in the region, which helps subject matter experts, including law enforcement officers, to acquire the research and investigative skills to detect and prevent these crimes, both locally and regionally.

The UAE is one of the region’s first countries to pass legislation criminalizing human trafficking. The UAE also continues to review and update its laws to serve and support the interests of victims of human trafficking at all stages, especially by providing them comprehensive health care and support for their psychological well-being.

The UAE has founded several institutions that provide care and accommodation for victims, including the Abu Dhabi Center for Shelter and Humanitarian Care. The UAE has also established care centers and a fund to support victims of trafficking. The country has signed memoranda of understanding with countries to enhance cooperation to combat trafficking and protect victims. The UAE also highlighted the “Abu Dhabi Dialogue”, which has organized consultations between relevant Asian countries.

In its conclusion, the UAE reaffirmed its commitment to eliminating human trafficking through multilateral cooperation, working closely with members of the Human Rights Council during the UAE’s tenure on the Council starting January 2022, and supporting the efforts of the “Group of Friends Against Human Trafficking”—of which the UAE is an active member.