(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Gulf region is facing "an aggravating risk" of human trafficking due to social and financial reasons and increasingly becoming a transit destination, says an expert.
"This region in particular is under an aggravating risk of trafficking in general because of its social and economic welfare, because of its stability and high connectivity in terms of transportation and travel," Hatem Faoud Aly, Representative and Head of Office, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime told The Peninsula yesterday.
"Gulf countries in general and countries like Qatar and United Arab Emirates have became an increasing target as transit countries for illegal trafficking and in particular in trafficking human beings," he said on the sidelines of a workshop began yesterday for regional capacity building in combating human trafficking.
The workshop is being held under the Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking which was launched during the Doha Foundation Forum 2010. It will aim to build skills among the nationals of Arab League countries and qualify them in different field of combating human trafficking.
Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking together with UNODC, the custodian for the UN protocol on anti trafficking human and illegal migration, is hosting the three-day event for participants from 17 countries.
"Being aware of the increase the governments jointly with the United Nations develop a collaborative commitment to start facing this largely growing phenomenon of illegal trafficking in human beings. They started working together in a defence and protection mechanism and actually to benefit other countries in the Arab region," said Aly.
Human trafficking is transnational, going across the boarders of the countries. It actually involves three types of counties as origin, transit and destinations. Being countries with great potential of the risk of being the transit could become the destination.
"But the Gulf countries became increasingly aware of such risk and they decided to work currently with the UN to combat it," said Aly.
The Arab Initiative to combat human trafficking is a three year regional capacity building programme aiming at supporting the Arab League states in preventing and combating human trafficking by promoting the ratification and implementation of the protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons especially women and children.
"We aim at a comprehensive regional collaboration and building capacity for our security," said Abdullah Al Aman, Chairman of Qatar Foundation for Combating Human Trafficking.
Human trafficking is the third fast growing crime in the world. The United Nations this month released a report in which they claim 2.4 million people around the world are traded into slavery every single year while 80 percent of those victims or nearly 1.9 million people are traded in sex slavery.
By Fazeena Saleem