23 April 2020
British Government Responds to IUNW Petition on Human Trafficking
The International United Nations Watch (IUNW) has received a response by a representative of the British government on its petition on human tracking to the UAE signed by 56 British MPs. The letter was sent to the office of Home Secretary Priti Sushil Pate, calling on her to take serious measures to combat human trafficking in the UAE.
The British government noted that the UAE has taken measures to combat trafficking, adding that “Modern slavery and human trafficking is a serious crime which can affect vulnerable people and wider communities, and the Government is committed to taking action to prevent and tackle these issues both domestically and internationally.”
The letter added that “The UK Government is aware that the UAE have been taking steps to address trafficking issues in their country. For example, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) has confirmed that the UAE authorities have put in place measures to train police, judges, prison officials, and immigration authorities on identifying trafficking victims. In addition, the law enforcement and judicial sectors continue to dedicate official training sections for how to manage human trafficking cases.”
The British government response further explained that “Further to these internal steps, the UK Government continues to actively engage with the UAE Government on these issues. For example, in October last year staff from the British Embassy in Bahrain and the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, as well as the UK Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, attended a regional forum along with UAE representatives, where best practice, international cooperation and awareness raising were discussed.”
While International United Nations Watch (IUNW) appreciates the response of the British government to its letter, IUNW deems this response not enough and does not address concerns raised out by our report and letter. We have highlighted to the British government a worrying phenomenon across Europe supported by evidence. The British government’s response sort of adopts the position of the UAE government instead of calling on the UAE to adopt reforms, which the British government should not be doing.
Meanwhile, IUNW is taking the petition to other international and legal platforms to build pressure on the UAE to adopt more reforms in relation to human trafficking. While it is true that the UAE has adopted reforms in this regard, these reforms fall short of expectations and women continue to be victims of human trafficking as of now. We hope that this petition, supported by 56 British MPs who represent a considerable portion of the British people, will be a wake-up call to end human trafficking in the UAE.
To read British government letter, click here.