8.2.4 Does your university as a body have a policy commitment to no forced labour, no modern slavery and no human trafficking, and no child labour?

The UAE is a leading player in the global campaign against human trafficking. The UAE was the first country in the region to enact a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law with Federal Law 51 in 2006. Under the law, human trafficking includes all forms of sexual exploitation and engaging others in prostitution, servitude, forced labor, organ trafficking, coerced service, enslavement, begging, and quasi-slavery practices. In addition, the law ensures that a person aware of an incident of human trafficking and does not report it can be punished. The law raises awareness of crimes linked to human trafficking and provides support and protection to victims and eyewitnesses. It stipulates a minimum fine of AED 100,000 and a minimum term of five years in prison for offenders. In 2013, the law was amended in conformity with the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (Palermo Protocol), which the UAE ratified in 2009. The law was further amended in February 2015 to strengthen support and protection for victims and witnesses.

The National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT) was established by Cabinet decision in 2007 in order to coordinate efforts to ensure effective enforcement of Federal Law 51. The Committee includes 18 representatives from various federal and local institutions. NCCHT has implemented a five-point strategy to fight the menace of trafficking, comprised of prevention, prosecution, punishment, protection and the promotion of international cooperation. NCCHT produces an annual report on combating human trafficking in the UAE, which can be found on the Committee's website: www.nccht.gov.ae

The UAE currently maintains a network of shelters to protect and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking. Shelters are located in Abu Dhabi (EWAA Shelter for Women and Children), Dubai (Dubai Foundation for Women and Children), and Ras Al Khaimah (Aman Shelter for Women and Children). A dedicated hotline facilitates the reporting of cases of human trafficking and enables victims to request protection by calling 800SAVE.

Since human trafficking most often begins in the home countries of victims, the UAE has signed agreements with several countries to exchange best practices on the prevention of human trafficking and enhance assistance for victims of this crime. The UAE also participates in several regional and international efforts to counter human trafficking and regularly raises the issue at fora such as the Arab Human Rights Commission Charter Committee.

In previous years, the UAE has hosted the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, who recognized the progress achieved by the national campaign to combat human trafficking.

The UAE condemns, prohibits and penalises human trafficking through a comprehensive action plan to fight it regionally and abroad. The plan includes: prevention of human trafficking, prosecution and punishment of traffickers, protection of survivors and promotion of international cooperation.

Report human trafficking and get support

UAE Government established the Ewa'a Shelters for women and children victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

In Abu Dhabi, ‘Abu Dhabi Shelter and Humanitarian Care Centre’ (Ewa’a), an affiliate of the Department of Community Development, is responsible for providing care, safe shelter and health and psychological care to victims of human trafficking and all forms of violence including domestic violence. The centre’s responsibilities include developing awareness programmes to prevent human trafficking and all types of abuse in coordination with relevant entities.

In Dubai, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children (DFWAC) is the first licensed non-profit shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and human trafficking in the UAE. It was established in July 2007 to offer victims immediate protection and support services in accordance with international human rights obligations.

The foundation provides free services to women and children who are victims of violence. It offers a helpline, safe shelter, case management, medical care, psychological support, counselling and legal, consular and immigration assistance. In addition to those core services, DFWAC also provides secondary support services including children's education, recreational activities, vocational services, physical fitness, all-round empowerment and skills training.

In Sharjah, Women's Protection Centre of the Social Services Department of Government of Sharjah (SSSD) has allocated a toll free number 800-800-700 to provide social, psychological and legal counselling and solutions to domestic issues by legal, social and psychological specialists. SSSD also provides family consultations through its website.

In addition, there are several social support centres under the supervision of Abu Dhabi Police that look after victims of human trafficking. They render all necessary support in co-ordination and co-operation with various relevant institutions.

There is also the General Directorate for Human Rights Protection that works under the supervision of Dubai Police and provides psychological, social and legal support to women and children who are victims of human trafficking. The Directorate provides victims with support such as temporary shelter, temporary visas and air tickets to return to their homelands.

Report human trafficking issues through Dubai Police-Control Center of Human Trafficking on +9714-6082347

Hotline for labour complaints: 8005005

Hotline for human trafficking issues: 8007283

Fax: +971 4 217 1644

Email: htccc@dubaipolice.gov.ae.

Laws against human trafficking

The UAE as a committed and responsible member of the international community has been proactive in the global fight to combat human trafficking.

Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 as amended by Federal law No.1 of 2015 was the start of the UAE's official initiatives to combat human trafficking locally and to enhance the UAE's role in the international efforts aimed at eliminating human trafficking crimes.

Under the law, human trafficking includes all forms of sexual exploitation, engaging others in prostitution, servitude, forced labour, organ-trafficking, coerced service, enslavement, begging and quasi-slavery practices. In addition, the law ensures that a person aware of a human trafficking crime and does not report it can be punished.

The law raises awareness of the crime, helps the victims, as well as protects victims and any eyewitnesses. It stipulates a minimum fine of AED 100,000 and a minimum of five years in jail for offenders.

Other laws that address human trafficking in the UAE are:

Federal Law No. 15 of 1993 which deals with organ transplant

The regulation on Federal Law No. 18 of 2009 which modified the process of registering births and deaths.

Fighting human trafficking

The National Committee for Combatting Human Trafficking (NCCHT) was established in 2007 pursuant to a Cabinet order to coordinate efforts and enforce plans to combat human trafficking at various levels in all the seven emirates of the federation. The Committee includes 18 representatives from various federal and local institutions.

Since its establishment, the Committee has sought to achieve its aims through many initiatives and activities including the staging of specialised meetings, visits and workshops. Today, it is seen as the UAE's official representative at international conferences relating to combating human trafficking.

Ministry of Interior initiated several mechanisms to protect human rights, particularly all forms of human trafficking. Some of its initiatives are:

  • Promoting anti-human trafficking culture and awareness

  • Cooperating with Interpol through exchange of information on human trafficking crimes

  • Monitoring individuals involved or suspected of being involved in such crimes

  • Enforcing tighter control at entry points

  • Using unified criminal justice and Interpol systems to verify individuals at entry points.

UAE laws prohibit the employment of children under the age of 15, while those aged 15 to 18 are allowed to work on certain terms related to working hours and conditions. students between the ages of 15 and 18 are allowed to work and issued with a temporary work permit. as for training, students between the ages of 15 and 18 receive a training permit from the ministry of human resources and settlement.

The uae federal labor code prohibits the employment of juveniles of both sexes before the age of 15, and the ministry of human resources and settlement does not grant work permits to any emirati juvenile or resident expatriate under the age of 15.

On the other hand, the law allows juveniles between the ages of 15 and 18 to work under official work permits issued by the ministry, provided that the employer wishing to employ the young juvenile meets certain conditions, including:

  • written consent of the juvenile's guardian, or who has jurisdiction or guardianship over him

  • birth certificate, or certificate of juvenile age assessment issued by the relevant medical authorities

  • a certificate of health fitness for the required work issued by the relevant medical authorities

  • if the event is not a citizen, the resident expat event and its selves must have a valid residence, which is fixed to their passport.

  • the work to be operated shall not be among the prohibited actions under the ministerial decisions present, or decisions made in this regard.

  • the license of the establishment/employer must be valid

  • payment of required fees

Additional conditions

In accordance with the law, juveniles may not be operated at night in industrial projects, or do hazardous or harmful work.

The maximum actual working hours for juveniles are six hours per day, and working hours must be interspersed with one or more rest periods.

for more information on the subject, see links from the ministry of human resources and settlement website:

  • Labour Law - Read Title II (Employment of Workers, Employmentof Juveniles and Women(PDF, 347KB)

  • read under the topic of decisions and circulars: permit section and work card:

  1. ministerial decision no. (1188) for 2010 on the controls and conditions for granting internal work permits

  2. ministerial decision no. (1189) for 2010 on the controls and conditions for granting work permits to juveniles

The UAE has signed several international conventions on children's rights:

  • convention on the rights of the child (1997)

  • nine ilo conventions, including topics on working hours, forced labour, labour inspections, women's night work, equal pay, minimum working age and the worst forms of child labour

  • convention against transnational organized crime and its protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, particularly women and children (palermo protocol)

  • arab charter of human rights (2008).

Employment of Juveniles under the age 15 is banned in UAE. However, effective January 2011, teenagers in the age group 15-18 years are allowed to work, on obtaining a teenage work permit from the Labour Ministry. However, there are certain restrictions on the type of work and hours of employment.

According to a new decree issued in 2016 by the HR Ministry, students are allowed to complete training periods and fill in positions in the private sector after obtaining work permits. According to the decree, guardians of students aged 12 to 18 years should produce a written consent for training purposes, while those aged 15 to 18 years should seek work permit. The decree grants national and foreign students similar conditions in terms of benefits and advantages to those already filling the same spot.

The authorized temporary work permit allows facilities to hire national or expat students registered or non-registered in the Ministry’s database, including students to work on projects with completion periods not exceeding six months, with Dh.500 as permit fee. The Ministry grants temporary work permit for facilities to use nationals or non-nationals registered in the ministry database, including students to work for lesser hours in the same jobs as those filled by their counterparts for a period of maximum one year, with a fee of Dh.500.

Juvenile work permits are offered to employ nationals or non-nationals in the 15 to 18 age bracket, thereby enabling them to work for a period of not more than a year, with Dh.500 as fee. The Ministry has however, warned against making the appointed students work for more than six hours a day. They should be granted more than an hour of rest, breaks to eat or pray, and should consider not to keep them on duty for more than four consecutive hours a day.

The permits can be availed from Tasheel Service Centre through ministry’s smart phone applications.

Employers, before employing a juvenile, should retain copies of certain documents in the juvenile’s personal file, such as birth certificate, physical fitness certificate issued by a specialized physician, written consent from juvenile’s guardian, etc. Further, the employment of a juvenile is prohibited when the job requires night shifts, or involves hazardous jobs or is harmful to health, such as underground jobs in mines, quarries, furnaces of melting metals, oil refining, asphalt industry and bakeries. Further, when working hours exceed six hours a day, one or more breaks should be provided. Juveniles are not permitted to work overtime, or on holidays. A Juvenile work permit has a validity period of one year.

Employment of women at night between 10:00pm and 7:00am is prohibited, except under certain situations such as during work stoppages due to force majeure, employees in technical and administrative position, or other jobs as determined by the Labour Ministry, wherein the woman employee is not required to perform a manual job. Women are also not to be employed in difficult tasks and other duties harmful to health or morals.