The Emirates shares anti-traf­fick­ing know-how with oth­ers in

The National - News - - NEWS EMIRATES - NICK WEB­STER

A gov­ern­ment-backed train­ing pro­gramme equip­ping fu­ture crime fight­ers with spe­cial­ist skills to crush hu­man-traf­fick­ing rings op­er­at­ing in the UAE has been ex­panded across the Mid­dle East.

The lat­est group of 38 stu­dents at the Dubai Ju­di­cial In­sti­tute will in­clude rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Saudi Ara­bia and Bahrain.

The Na­tional Com­mit­tee to Com­bat Hu­man Traf­fick­ing and Dubai Po­lice work in tan­dem to teach traf­fick­ing-de­tec­tion meth­ods.

Grad­u­ates of the Spe­cial­ist in Com­bat­ing Hu­man Traf­fick­ing pro­gramme work with po­lice and the ju­di­ciary to re­ha­bil­i­tate vic­tims and bring the cul­prits to jus­tice.

Since 2015, 120 grad­u­ates have come through the pro­gramme in Dubai to join the war against traf­fick­ing.

The tragic con­se­quences of traf­fick­ing were high­lighted last month when 39 Viet­namese peo­ple – in­clud­ing 10 teenagers – were found dead in the back of a re­frig­er­ated lorry in the UK.

The driver, Mau­rice Robin­son, 25, has been charged with 39 counts of man­slaugh­ter, con­spir­acy to traf­fic peo­ple, con­spir­acy to as­sist un­law­ful im­mi­gra­tion and money laun­der­ing.

Eight peo­ple were ar­rested in Viet­nam last week in con­nec­tion with traf­fick­ing.

“Hu­man traf­fick­ing is a transna­tional crime with an in­ter­na­tional as­pect, so there is a range of skills re­quired to com­bat this crime,” said Dr Ja­mal Al Su­maiti, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Dubai Ju­di­cial In­sti­tute, at an anti-traf­fick­ing con­fer­ence in Dubai yes­ter­day.

“The law of hu­man traf­fick­ing is cov­ered in the course, but it is not an easy thing to un­der­stand be­cause we are deal­ing with hu­man be­ings.

“Stu­dents learn the skills of in­ves­ti­ga­tion, how to re­port these kinds of crimes and how to deal with a vic­tim.”

Al­though the course is open to all gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees of any na­tion­al­ity, they must pass an en­try test to qual­ify.

Cru­cially, stu­dents are taught how to gather ev­i­dence that po­lice can use to pros­e­cute crim­i­nal gangs.

Dr Al Su­maiti said the pub­lic could also play a role by re­port­ing sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity to po­lice.

“We are teach­ing how to progress these cases to­wards an ef­fec­tive prose­cu­tion at court level and what is re­quired to achieve that,” he said.

“We can­not com­bat this crime just with the po­lice – it is a com­bined ef­fort from all of us.

“When­ever peo­ple are con­cerned about a sus­pi­cious sit­u­a­tion, es­pe­cially at night, they need to know how to deal with this and how it can be re­ported.”

Ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions Of­fice on Drugs and Crime, 63,251 hu­man-traf­fick­ing vic­tims were iden­ti­fied in 106 coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries be­tween 2012 and 2014.

An ex­am­ple of the ex­tent of the prob­lem is that 152 na­tion­al­i­ties were iden­ti­fied as vic­tims across 124 coun­tries.

The most re­cent re­port re­vealed more than 500 traf­fick­ing routes around the world, with 28 per cent of iden­ti­fied vic­tims be­ing chil­dren.

Statis­tics show 63 per cent of the con­victed traf­fick­ers are men, with the num­ber of women in­creas­ing.

The Mid­dle East has rel­a­tively lim­ited in­trare­gional and do­mes­tic traf­fick­ing as op­posed to other parts of the world, the UN said, with 65 per cent of de­tected vic­tims com­ing from out­side the re­gion.

“The UAE con­tin­ues to play a lead­ing role in its ex­cep­tional com­mit­ment to com­bat hu­man traf­fick­ing in the Arab world,” said Boris Zna­men­ski, re­gional pro­gramme of­fi­cer for the United Na­tions Of­fice on Drugs and Crime.

“Since 2015, the diploma has pro­vided cru­cial train­ing in this area and we hope it con­tin­ues to do so.

“Now it has been ex­panded to other GCC coun­tries, it has taken an­other im­por­tant step

to fight­ing this prob­lem in the re­gion.”

Emirates air­line has joined the fight, train­ing more than 50,000 crew and ground staff in the in­di­ca­tors of traf­fick­ing of vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple into Dubai.

The com­pany’s manda­tory ed­u­ca­tion pro­grammes for air­port staff, cabin crew and pilots have pre­vented scores of peo­ple dis­ap­pear­ing into crim­i­nal net­works against their will, the air­line said.

A team of 210 per­son­nel in the Emirates Air­port Se­cu­rity Unit are trained to de­tect signs of hu­man traf­fick­ing and look out for po­ten­tial child ex­ploita­tion.

“We will con­tinue to fur­ther im­prove prac­tices and adopt ac­tiv­i­ties to pre­vent hu­man traf­fick­ing,” a spokesman said.

“Emirates is com­mit­ted to us­ing our in­dus­try lead­er­ship and in­flu­ence to play an im­por­tant role in help­ing pre­vent these crimes.”

Les­lie Pableo for The Na­tional

Dr Ja­mal Al Su­maiti, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Dubai Ju­di­cial In­sti­tute, urged the pub­lic to join the fight

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