Young children and women who were trafficked to the UAE are now being relocated to live with families in Europe and Australia. This comes after authorities discovered that their own families trafficked them into forced sex work, meaning going home was not an option for these survivors.
The National reports:
The UAE is working with foreign governments and United Nations agencies to find homes in nations that have rehabilitation programmes.
At the 5th Arab Regional Conference on the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, police and case workers spoke of entering massage parlours, clubs and beauty salons to reach women forced to work against their will. Some had information about others locked up in apartments and beaten into submission.
“In high risk cases where children have been trafficked by their family we cannot send them home because they will be trapped and trafficked again and again,” said Ghanima Al Bahri, director of care and rehabilitation with the Dubai Foundation for Women and Children.
While the Dubai Foundation could not disclose how many individuals were relocated abroad, the process of finding new families to take them in is quite difficult as they aim to match survivors with families of similar ethnic and linguistic backgrounds.
“Some of the children who are very young don’t even know their parents because they were sold several times. We work very hard to find an alternate home and family. They need a better life and new opportunities with another family,” added Al Bahri.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, last year three traffickers were jailed for life and 106 were arrested on trafficking charges.