17 February 2005

Armenian and UAE law enforcers agree to jointly fight against pimps and trafficking in human beings

The following articles was reported by Armenpress

YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 16, ARMENPRESS: Prosecutors of Armenia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to create a joint task force to draft an intergovernmental legal assistant pact. The agreement was reached when a delegation of the Armenian prosecutor's office was visiting the UAE earlier this month.

Armenian prosecutor's office told Armenpress that members of the delegation had a series of meetings with their UAE counterparts to focus on how to track down and call to account persons engaged in trafficking in human beings, illegal migration and pimping.

According to the Armenian prosecutor's office, 7 of 9 criminal cases launched against people engaged in pimping involved 22 Armenian pimps working in the UAE. According to International Organization for Migration (IOM) findings, Armenia is a country of origin for women and children who are trafficked primarily into the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey.


The following articles appeared in the Gulf News English daily of Dubai, UAE on 14th February 2005

"UAE cracks down on human traffickers from central Asia"
By Diaa Hadid, Staff Reporter

Dubai: At least 38 women were brought into the UAE last year and forced to work as prostitutes.

Unreported cases, however, could mean the figure is much higher, according to Major Aref Baqer, deputy director of Human Right Department at the Dubai police.

The majority of the women were from Kyrgyzstan and the rest came from other former Soviet Union countries, mostly central Asian states. Figures for previous years were not available.

Some of the women were as young as 15, but most were older than 16, "which is still considered to be a child", the source said. "Girls are easier to threaten and exploit," he said.

The women he spoke to had been brought into the country by criminal gangs based in their home countries.

"The usual story I hear is that women and girls are promised work in the UAE. They are taken away at the airport, their passports are confiscated and they are threatened psychologically or physically to work as prostitutes."

He said the women were told "if they [the women] try to complain they will be discovered and harmed".

For that reason, it was "impossible" to guess how many women were forcibly brought into the UAE, he said.

"I can't even guess a figure because the women that reach us aren't statistically representative of a number."

He said he could only surmise: "Thirty-eight women is a small percentage of the real number". The women were found in a variety of ways, he said.

"Some are reported to police through connections they have. Some go directly to police stations. Others are known to consulates or non- government organisations [NGOs], who contact us."

A smaller number were found to be working against their will after being arrested.

The source said interviews with the women and girls and their length of stay in the country generally showed if they had been forced to work as prostitutes.

"Some women claim to be forced, but if they've been here for two or three years, it's very hard to believe. Conversations with them also reveal a great deal about their attitudes," he said

Women who willingly came to the UAE as visitors and turn to prostitution were "referred to criminal prosecution", he said.

Last year, Dubai police received two NGOs from Kazakhstan and Moldavia to boost cooperation on the issue of human trafficking. Other government representatives also conducted fact-finding missions.

He said he hoped more women would come forward this year, with the help of consulates and NGOs.

Source Where the criminals hunt for victims The majority of the women were from Kyrgyzstan and the rest came from other former Soviet Union countries, mostly central Asian states.

Kyrgyzstan 25
Moldavia 5
Uzbekistan 5
Russia 1
Azerbaijan 1
Chechnya 1

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