Emirates focus of human trafficking probe

April 18, 2012 at 9:39 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 18 (UPI) -- The United Arab Emirates government deserves praise for combating human trafficking but must do more to help victims, a U.N. special envoy said.

A 2010 report to the United Nations noted that the United Arab Emirates isn't party to protocols on the rights of children, the sale of children, child pornography or the use of child soldiers. A mission that year found a "low number" of cases of the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation.

Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, U.N. special rapporteur on human trafficking, said at the conclusion of her visit to the country that the Emirati government deserved some praise.

"The U.A.E. must be commended for its strong commitment to combat trafficking in persons both at the domestic level and in the (Persian) Gulf region," she said in a statement. "However, it needs to devote greater attention to identification of countless victims of all forms of trafficking and guarantee their right to effective remedy."

She said she found the most common form of trafficking in the region was for the sex trade for women and the labor industry for men.

"I urge the government to expand the definition of trafficking, to explicitly include labor exploitation, domestic servitude as well as other forms of trafficking such as forced and servile marriages," she said.

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