Reforming the legal regulation of human trafficking into the UAE, with particular reference to the law in the UK

  • Hamad Alaleeli

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Human trafficking has become one of the darkest sides of globalisation due to the low level of coordination between government agencies and anti-trafficking organisations. Trafficking in humans has become a global issue. It cannot be tackled effectively without the active support of all national governments. It is now compared with slavery and is often termed "modern slavery". This study is based on understanding human trafficking from the perspective of the UAE. It considers clearly the background of the human trafficking situation in the UAE, to fully understand the context and the situation of human trafficking regulations and enforcement in the country. Different cases of human trafficking that occurred in the past have been analysed. The anti-trafficking efforts of the UAE government were examined in the context of Federal Law 51, which was adopted in 2006 to prevent trafficking in the UAE. This law calls for taking a holistic view of human trafficking by providing a proper definition of human trafficking, proposing strict implementation of legislation, support to victims and lastly, coordinating with other nation states in anti-trafficking efforts. A comparison between human trafficking activities in the UAE and the UK was undertaken to determine the loopholes that exist in the anti-trafficking efforts of the UAE. The UK has consistently being ranked as a tier 1 country in its anti-trafficking efforts by the Department of State of the United States, while the rank of the UAE has fluctuated from tier 3 to tier 1 in the last decade. The critical comparative analysis between the UK jurisdictions and UAE human trafficking law is presented with regards to the problem of this study. Furthermore, interviews with some government officers involved in anti-trafficking efforts in the UAE were undertaken to obtain sufficient information about the research problem; then, the results of the interviews were used to obtain a more in-depth understanding of the current process of human trafficking law and enforcement practices. Interviews revealed that the situation in the UAE is improving gradually. More awareness is being spread in the country regarding human trafficking and more and more victims are gathering the courage to report their exploitation. The findings of this study show that there are certain regional and global patterns in human trafficking activities. Many developing and third world countries are increasingly used as source countries, while developed and prosperous countries are the destination of those who are trafficked across international boundaries. Deeper investigations are required to reveal the true picture of human trafficking. The factors that are the driving force behind this illegal industry are required to be understood more clearly such that steps are taken to remove them. The need is to take drastic measures to eradicate prostitution from the UAE and reduce the exploitation of women and girls. Reforms are also needed in the labour sector, to put a check on the exploitation of men and women for domestic labour. A programme to increase awareness should be initiated by the government to educate the migrant workforce about the dominant forms of human trafficking activities in the UAE.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Nottingham Trent University

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