The UAE condemns, prohibits and penalises human trafficking through a comprehensive action plan to fight it regionally and abroad. The plan includes: prevention of human trafficking, prosecution and punishment of traffickers, protection of survivors and promotion of international cooperation.
UAE Government established the Ewa'a Shelters for women and children victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.
In Abu Dhabi, ‘Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Care Centre’ (Ewa’a), an affiliate of the Department of Community Development, is responsible for providing care, safe shelter and health and psychological care to victims of human trafficking and all forms of violence including domestic violence. The centre’s responsibilities include developing awareness programmes to prevent human trafficking and all types of abuse in coordination with relevant entities.
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 Sharjah, Women's Protection Centre of the Social Services Department of Government of Sharjah (SSSD) has allocated a toll free number 800-800-700 to provide social, psychological and legal counselling and solutions to domestic issues by legal, social and psychological specialists. SSSD also provides family consultations through its website.
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.
Report human trafficking issues through Dubai Police-Control Center of Human Trafficking on +9714-6082347
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:
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.
Ministry of Interior initiated several mechanisms to protect human rights, particularly all forms of human trafficking. Some of its initiatives are:
Read also about the role of National Human Rights Institution in the protection and promotion of human rights in the UAE.