Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - United Arab Emirates
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - United Arab Emirates, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a67c.html [accessed 23 October 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of the United Arab Emirates has made progress in efforts to address trafficking since the release of the 2009 TIP Report. The government has investigated and prosecuted additional sex trafficking offenses and convicted sex trafficking offenders, though it made no discernable progress in investigating and punishing labor trafficking offenses. Dubai authorities initiated the prosecution of 17 human trafficking cases from January through mid-October 2009. At least twice, Dubai prosecutors filed human trafficking charges in sexual assault cases where sex trafficking was alleged. In August, Dubai criminal courts handed down five-year prison sentences to three individuals convicted of sex trafficking. Two convicted traffickers in another case received life sentences. At least one victim was referred to the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children to get social counseling and medical and psychological treatment.
In October, the Dubai Attorney General announced the creation of a permanent task force to handle human trafficking cases. The task force is a centralized anti-trafficking unit that will investigate and prosecute TIP cases.
The UAE government established a mandatory electronic wage deposit system for foreign laborers intended to prevent abuse of the sponsorship system by establishing a record of direct salary payments. It plans to cover an estimated 500,000 workers by the end of 2009.
Since the release of the 2009 TIP Report, the Government of the UAE has not improved protection services for victims of sex trafficking and forced labor nor has it developed and instituted formal procedures for officials to identify proactively victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups. The Government of the UAE now waives immigration violations for identified trafficking victims, but it has not ensured that trafficking victims are not incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for other unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, with the exception of immigration violations. The government, however, funded the training of UAE law enforcement officials and NGO representatives on identifying trafficked persons and traffickers and techniques for interviewing potential victims.