UAE one step closer to setting up anti-trafficking fund

A fund to support victims of human trafficking is in its final set-up stages.

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A fund to support victims of human trafficking is in the final stages of being set up.

The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking has discussed final preparations for the fund, along with a draft law to establish it.

“The fund will help victims overcome the financial problems they face as a result of exploitation,” said Dr Saeed Al Ghafli, assistant undersecretary for Federal National Council Affairs and member of the committee.

“Rehabilitation of victims and bringing them under special programmes are carried out by the Ewa’a centres in the UAE.”

Dr Al Ghafli said the meeting was held to “develop plans for the future”. The plans will be passed to the committee as part of regulations on a Victim Support Fund that was formed last month.

A number of senior Emirati officials who are involved with protecting trafficked victims, including those from prosecution, police and shelters, also attended the meeting.

The fund follows a series of unprecedented support and guarantees approved for victims of trafficking this year, including harsher punishments for traffickers.

The size of the fund has not yet been announced. Ewa'a will administer the fund with the committee.

“The fund will be a big help to the human trafficking victims for them to start a new life,” said Sara Shuhail, director of Ewa’a, last month.

“We usually give them a small budget to start with, but it’s not enough. With the new fund, the victims can start their own projects and seek medical treatment upon return to their home countries.”