Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Arab Emirates on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking



Memorandum of Understanding between India and United Arab Emirates on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on cooperation in preventing and combating of Human Trafficking. The MoU is expected to be signed very soon after the approval.

The MoU will strengthen the bonds of friendship between the two countries and increase the bilateral cooperation on the issues of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking especially women and children expeditiously.

The following are the salient features of the MoU:

(i) To strengthen cooperation to prevent all forms of human trafficking, especially that of women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of traffickers and organized crime syndicates in either country.

(ii) Taking preventive measures that would eliminate human trafficking in women and children and in protecting the rights of victims of trafficking.

(iii) Anti-trafficking Cells and Task Forces will work on both sides to prevent human trafficking.

(iv) Police and other concerned authorities will work in close cooperation and exchange information which can be used to interdict human traffickers.

(v) The repatriation of victims would be done as expeditiously as possible and the home country will undertake the safe and effective re-integration of the victims.

(vi) A Joint Task Force with representatives from both sides would be constituted to monitor the working of the MoU.

Background:

As a destination of trafficking, South Asian countries are mainly affected by domestic trafficking, or trafficking from the neighboring countries. However, South Asian victims are also increasingly detected in the Middle East.

India is a source and transit country as far as trafficking to UAE is concerned, whereas UAE is a destination and transit country for men and women, predominantly from South, Southeast and Central Asia and Eastern Europe who are subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Migrant workers, who comprise over 95 percent of the UAE's private sector workforce, are recruited primarily from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran and East, South and Southeast Asia. Some of these workers face forced labour in the UAE. Women from some of these countries travel willingly to the UAE to work as domestic workers, secretaries, beauticians and hotel cleaners, but some are subjected to forced labour by unlawful withholding of their passports, restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats and physical or sexual abuse.

The reinforcement of anti-trafficking efforts at all levels between the UAE and India is essential for prevention and protection of victims. This requires mutual cooperation among both the countries for intelligence sharing, joint investigation and a coordinated response to the challenges of human trafficking. For this purpose, it is proposed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UAE. We have already signed one MoU to prevent trafficking with Bangladesh and another with Bahrain is to be signed during this month.

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South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval for India adopting the Statute of the South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN) and India and becoming its formal member in order to strengthen ties with the member countries in controlling the trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.

SAWEN, a Regional network is comprised of eight countries in South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. It aims at working as a strong regional inter¬governmental body for combating wildlife crime by attempting common goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region.

Adoption of SAWEN statute envisions India being part of the regional inter¬governmental body in combating wildlife crime in the region and beyond. Following objectives have been set to attain the goal:

• To take initiatives for bringing harmonization and standardization in laws and policies of member countries concerning conservation of fauna and flora;

• To document the trend of poaching and illegal trade, and related threats to the natural biodiversity within and across countries in the region;

• To strengthen institutional responses to combat wildlife crime by promoting research and information sharing, training and capacity building, technical support, sharing experiences and outreach; and

• To encourage member countries to prepare and implement their National Action Plans in curbing wildlife crime and to collaborate towards effective implementation.
The South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the south East Asian region. The collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing the wildlife protection in the region is considered very important for effective conservation of such precious biodiversity. 

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MoU between India and Bangladesh on cooperation in the field of Fisheries
The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, was apprised about the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Bangladesh in September, 2011 on bilateral cooperation in the field of Fisheries and aquaculture and allied activities.

The MoU has strengthened the friendly relations between India and Bangladesh and promote development of cooperation in fisheries and aquaculture and allied sectors through mutually agreed activities and procedures.
The MoU will remain in force for a period of five years unless either of the Parties give prior written notice of at least six months in advance to the other Party of its intention to terminate the MoU. This MoU could be extended for further period as may be mutually agreed upon.

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Union Cabinet observes 2 minute silence in memory of all those who lost their lives in the fire tragedy at Kollam

The Union Cabinet meeting today morning began with a 2 minute silence in memory of all those who lost their lives in the fire tragedy at Puttingal Temple, Paravur in Kollam district of Kerala on April 10, 2016. 

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