Federal fund will help victims of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking will be given financial help to make a fresh start and reintegrate with the community.

Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, is urging national institutions, charities, the business community and residents to contribute to the federal fund. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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ABU DHABI // Victims of human trafficking will be given financial help to make a fresh start and reintegrate with the community.

A fund has been established at federal level to dispense the aid, said Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking.

“All the necessary procedures have been completed to establish the fund to support victims of such crimes,” said Dr Gargash.

“The fund was announced to provide financial assistance to victims to protect them from being subjected to exploitative and coercive practices.

“This fund will provide material support to the victims of trafficking and help them to face the future with renewed confidence.”

He urged national institutions, charities, the business community and residents to contribute.

This would show that the entire community was united in its determination to protect human dignity, to support the weak and the oppressed and help them to regain their ability to lead dignified lives as guaranteed under the law, Dr Gargash said.

The committee would also examine requests for assistance from shelters for abused women, he said.

Community leaders welcomed the announcement. “We want the fund to be continuous, we don’t want it only for a small period of time so it is very important for society to support the fund to keep helping victims,” said Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, a member of the committee and assistant under secretary for Federal National Council Affairs.

“It can help victims to start a new life. They can start a small business to solve some of their problems and this can also then help them face the difficulty in their lives. We already have some people who help the fund but it’s very important for people to donate.”

Dr Al Ghafli said making people aware about the condition of victims was also important.

“UAE society contains 202 nationalities and their understanding of human trafficking is not really clear so it’s good to give more education to make people and society aware in order to stop it.

“So if they see something, they can help authorities to stop the crime.”

The national committee also agreed on the UAE joining in the United Nation’s Blue Heart campaign. Dr Gargash said this reflected the committee’s support for international efforts to combat trafficking.

The campaign was launched by the UN in 2009 to raise global awareness.

The United Nations recently disclosed that it helped nine victims of human trafficking in Dubai and Abu Dhabi to find homes in countries such as Sweden, Australia and Canada.

The victims – four of whom were minors – were lured to the UAE with promises of employment or sold by parents or relatives, and faced the danger of being resold if they returned home.

Of the nine victims from Asia and the Arab region, five were resettled this year in Canada, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. All of the victims are studying in schools or university in their new home country.

There are 11 human-trafficking victims living in three Ewa’a shelters in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah. Since the shelter group opened in 2008, it has cared for 215 women and children who have been abused or trafficked.

The Dubai Foundation for Women and Children has taken in 18 human-trafficking cases from last year to the end of June.

rtalwar@thenational.ae