UAE and Thailand to Combat Human Trafficking

21 September 2014

The International Gulf Organization (IGO) for Human Rights commends UAE’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

The UAE is negotiating with Thailand to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on strengthening cooperation, training and exchange of information in relation to human trafficking. This will make Thailand the third country to sign such an MOU with the UAE, after Armenia and Australia.

In its wider strategy to eliminate human trafficking, the UAE will also be negotiating with Indonesia, Tajikistan and international organizations.

There are approximately 10,400 Thai citizens currently working in the UAE and there is an increasing demand for Thai masseurs, which illegal agents may exploit.

The UAE has an active National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking. In 2006, the UAE passed Federal Law 51 on Combating Human Trafficking Crimes, which prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties ranging from one year to life imprisonment.

The UAE law defines human trafficking as: “the recruitment, transportation or receipt of persons by means of threat or force or by coercion, kidnap, fraud, deceit, abuse of power, exploitation or the offer or receipt of money or inducements to secure the consent of a person who is in control of another for the purpose of exploitation. This includes all forms of sexual abuse, involuntary servitude, mistreatment, coercion and work force abuse, as well as the illegal trading of human organs.”

IGO urges the UAE to continue to uphold its international commitments and continue fighting human trafficking, as it is a grave human rights violation. IGO also calls on all labor-sending countries to cooperate with the UAE to prevent human trafficking.