UAE introduces new laws to protect human rights

GENEVA, 22nd January 2018 (WAM) — As part of plans to enhance the protection of human rights in the country, the UAE has introduced an extensive range of new legislation and regulations over the past few years, according to a report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as part of the Universal Periodic Review process. A number of new laws are also being prepared, on domestic violence, on juvenile delinquents and on the establishment of an independent human rights commission.

Presented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Anwar Gargash, the report details actions taken to promote human rights in the country since the adoption by the Council of the second Universal Periodic Review on the UAE in 2013, including legislation and steps taken across a wide range of topics, including human trafficking, labour rights and the empowerment of women.

The report also listed actions taken by a number of federal and local ministries and departments.

The Federal National Council, it noted, had established its Human Rights Committee in 2013, this being charged with the consideration of relevant bilateral, regional and international conventions relating to human rights. It also works to raise awareness of human rights and facilitates the dissemination of a human rights culture through its engagement with relevant educational and media authorities and institutions In the Ministry of Interior, the report said, a wide-ranging series of units and committees have been created to deal with the protection and promotion of human rights. These include the Human Rights Department within the Office of the Inspector General, the Public Authority for Community Protection and Crime Prevention, which oversees a number of departments, including the Juvenile Welfare Department, the Ministry of the Interior Centre for the Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the Office to Promote a Culture of Respect for the Law, the Federal Community Policing Department, the Federal Social Assistance Department, and the Ministry of the Interior Federal Centre for Child Protection.

The Ministry has also established human trafficking units within police command departments, while the Directorate General of Human Rights of the Dubai Police also runs a human trafficking monitoring centre. The Ministry has also established the High Committee for the Protection of the Child, the Ministry of the Interior Human Rights Committee, the Legal Council, the Police Disciplinary Board, the Women’s Police Coordinating Committee, the Happiness and Positivity Committee, and the Penal Institution and Police Station Detention Facility Inspections Committee.

It has also set up ways for the public to submit information and complaints in a number of languages, while social support centres in the various police command departments have been established to deal with cases of domestic violence, violence at school and runaway children.

In the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, the Human Trafficking Offences Department is charged with monitoring the labour market and with following up on reports from inspectors or complaints from workers about human trafficking. It also carries out inspections of recruitment offices and coordinates with the country’s law enforcement agencies and other relevant authorities to combat improper worker recruitment procedures.

In Dubai, the Community Development Authority opened its Child Protection Unit in 2014, to provide social and psychological support to children, including, in particular, children who have been subjected to various types of abuse, and to help children overcome the difficulties they encounter, while the Human trafficking Monitoring Centre at Dubai Police General Headquarters monitors human trafficking offences, upholds the rights of victims and takes action to enforce the Anti-Human Trafficking Act. The Centre also collaborates with international organisations working to combat human trafficking.

A full list of the new legislation follows.

Federal Contagious Diseases Act No. 14 of 2014; Federal Decree-Law No. 2 of 2015 on combating discrimination and hatred; Federal Act No. 1 of 2015 amending certain provisions of the Federal Anti-Human Trafficking Act No. 51 of 2006; Federal Rights of the Child Act No. 3 of 2016 (the “Wadeema” Act); Federal Decree Law No. 7 of 2016 amending certain provisions of the Criminal Code (Federal Judiciary Act No. 3 of 1987); Federal Decree Law No. 11 of 2016 amending certain provisions of the Federal Judiciary Act No. 3 of 1987; Federal Decree Law No. 12 of 2016 amending certain provisions of the Federal Supreme Court Act No. 10 of 1973; Federal Decree Law No. 8 of 2016 on accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; Federal Act No. 21 of 2016 amending certain provisions of the General Authority for Pensions and Social Security Act No. 6 of 1999; Federal Decree Law No. 15 of 2016 establishing the Emirates Schools Establishment; Federal Decree Law No. 16 of 2016 establishing the Emirates Institute for Healthcare Services; Federal Act No. 17 of 2016 establishing centres for mediation and conciliation in civil and commercial disputes; Federal Act No. 5 of 2017 on the remote use of communications technology in criminal proceedings; Federal Act No. 15 of 2017 on domestic service.


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