Cabinet okays MoU between India, UAE on human trafficking

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday approved the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the UAE for cooperation in preventing and combating human trafficking.

The MoU is expected to be signed very soon after the approval, an official statement said.

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

The MoU to “strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially that of women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country”.

Preventive measures will be taken that would eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking.

“Anti-trafficking Cells and Task Forces will work on both sides to prevent human trafficking. Police and other concerned authorities will work in close cooperation and exchange information which can be used to interdict human traffickers,” the statement said.

Repatriation of victims would be done as expeditiously as possible and the home country would undertake the safe and effective reintegration of the victims.

The statement also said that a Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides would be constituted 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 neighbouring 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 the UAE is concerned, whereas the 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.

“The reinforcement of anti-trafficking efforts at all levels between the UAE and India is 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,” the statement said.

“For this purpose, it is proposed to sign a MoU with the UAE. We have already signed one MoU to prevent trafficking with Bangladesh and another with Bahrain is to be signed during this month,” it added.

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