The Bihar Post

India, UAE soon to sign MoU to combat human trafficking and strengthen bonds of friendship


NEW DELHI: The Union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today gave its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking. The MoU is expected to be signed very soon.

The MoU will strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two nations and increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously.

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The main features MoU include strengthening cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country, taking preventive measures to eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking and constitution of a Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides to monitor the working of the MoU.

As a destination of trafficking, South Asian countries are mainly affected by domestic trafficking, or trafficking from the neighboring countries. However, South Asian victims are also increasingly detected in the Middle East.

India is a source and transit country as far as trafficking to UAE is concerned whereas UAE is a destination and transit country for men and women, predominantly from South, Southeast and Central Asia and Eastern Europe who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

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Migrant workers, who comprise over 95 percent of the UAE’s private sector workforce, are recruited primarily from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran and East, South and Southeast Asia. Some of these workers face forced labour in the UAE.

Women from some of these countries travel willingly to the UAE to work as domestic workers, secretaries, beauticians and hotel cleaners, but some are subjected to forced labour by unlawful withholding of their passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats and physical or sexual abuse.

The reinforcement of anti-trafficking efforts at all levels between the UAE and India is thus essential for prevention and protection of victims.

This requires mutual cooperation among both the countries for intelligence sharing, joint investigation and a coordinated response to the challenges of human trafficking. India has already signed one MoU to prevent trafficking with Bangladesh and another with Bahrain is to be signed during this month.

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