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National Committee holds review meeting


The UAE National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking held its 12th meeting, chaired by H.E. Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Committee. The meeting discussed an array of topics related to human trafficking and new initiatives being undertaken to counter the crime. 

 The committee members reviewed a MoU draft that represents the country''s point of view vis-à-vis other countries regarding human trafficking. The draft was debated and studied by the participants in preparation of finalizing the MoU and endorsing it. Dr Gargash emphasized the importance of such agreements with the countries of origin and said that similar initiatives will promote cooperation, a strategic pillar in the UAE''s policy in fighting human trafficking and improving international relationships. 

 "Co-operation with other countries is important in combating human trafficking as a broad-based approach will provide information and enable data sharing about similar crime in other countries, as well as in improving the efficiency of security institutions fighting this crime," said Dr Gargash. 

 Amongst other key topics, discussions focused on a media campaign in all UAE airports aiming at raising awareness about human trafficking. The committee also discussed execution steps for the campaign and decided to implement them to create awareness about the crime. Dr. Gargash said that the campaign holds strategic importance, as it aims to limit the number of human trafficking victims arriving through the airports of the country, who may get trapped in different kinds of frauds and fictional contracts. He hoped that the campaign will further add to the nation’s efforts in fighting human trafficking. 

 The committee prepared the components of the annual 2008 report after reviewing reports from the Ministry of Interior, featuring statistics of human trafficking victims in the UAE. The committee also reviewed with the Red Crescent representatives the procedures taken by the organization to open the Women and Children Shelter in Abu Dhabi. The step is considered a major boost in the country''s efforts to protect human rights in general and help human trafficking victims. 

 Dr. Gargash praised the humanitarian initiatives launched by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak in fighting human trafficking and providing the necessary support to open the shelter in Abu Dhabi. He also thanked HH Sheikha Fatima for her efforts and interest in fighting the crime, which elevates the nation''s image as a pioneer in preserving human values and protecting the society from crimes as human trafficking. 

 The committee looked also into reports from Dubai Women and Children Foundation that included statistics showing the number of people accommodated in the Dubai shelter. It also decided to participate in the human trafficking conference to be held in Bahrain from February 23 to 25, 2009. 

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