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United Arab Emirates: Special Human Trafficking Court to Be Established in Dubai

(Oct. 28, 2010) According to a statement given recently by Judge Ahmed Ibrahim Saif to the EMARAT AL YOUM newspaper, Dubai is planning to set up a special court to handle cases of human trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation. It will be an extension of the Criminal Court and is designed to increase the speed with which human trafficking cases are heard. Since the beginning of 2010, there have been 15 cases of human trafficking sent to the courts by the public prosecutor's office in Dubai; the new court should be in operation by the end of the year. (Dubai to Establish Specialized Court for Human Trafficking Cases, EMIRATES 24/7, Oct. 25, 2010,

The plans for the court include giving priority to victims of traffickers in presenting testimony and providing such victims assistance in returning to their home countries. The Judge added that the cases the court handles “will concern sexual exploitation and not other forms of trafficking such as forced labour … or slavery … or the removal of organs.” (Id.)

Dubai already has specialized courts for immigration matters and juvenile and family issues, as well as for traffic violations. Saif noted that human trafficking cases are unique in that the government provides care for the victims while their cases are being tried. He also said that the proceedings in such cases “differ from other cases and are ruled by the UAE [United Arab Emirates] law on combating crimes of trafficking in human beings – No 51 of 2006 – in addition to international agreements signed with other countries.” (Id.)