The Emirates shares anti-trafficking know-how with others in
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.”
Dr Jamal Al Sumaiti, Director General of the Dubai Judicial Institute, urged the public to join the fight