The international operation saw the involvement of 47 countries.
At least 430 human trafficking victims have been rescued from around the world during a special mission carried out by the Interpol, in coordination with 47 countries — including the UAE.
The five-day operation dubbed ‘The liberterra’, which took place in July, also saw the arrest of 286 criminal gangs and identified 4,000 illegal migrants originating from 74 countries.
Many of the victims required medical, psychological and housing assistance and were taken into the care of protective services, the authorities said at the virtual Press conference held on Monday by the Interpol, in coordination with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior (MoI).
Some 500,000 cross-checks involving human trafficking activities were conducted during the special operation. Three temporary international operations offices had been established, including one in Abu Dhabi, to coordinate the activities for the mission, the authorities added.
Lt-Col Dana Humid Al Marzouqi, head of the International Affairs Bureau affairs at the MoI, said the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking has done a significant job to coordinate efforts from around the world and eradicate trafficking in the UAE.
“The UAE currently maintains efforts to protect and rehabilitate human trafficking victims. We also have a dedicated hotline to facilitate the reporting of cases,” she said.
“Given the transnational nature of human trafficking, no country can combat the smuggling of people by itself. It’s critical that there is cross-border cooperation. This is where the Interpol plays a critical role, especially in facilitating the sharing of information and operational collaboration between member countries. The Interpol also assists countries in developing long-term capabilities through training, events and access to resources.”
The recent special operation, where the UAE played a major role, was led by the Interpol in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), International Organisation on Migration and the Regional Operations Center in Khartoum, Lt-Col Al Marzouqi added.
“The UAE looks forward to continuing and deepening it’s already extensive cooperation with the Interpol in the years to come,” she said.
Ilana De Wild, director of Interpol Organised and Emerging Crimes, said the active participation of member countries was ‘very important’ in fighting criminal networks that are smuggling people.
“We have conducted this operation side by side with nations and organisations by sharing information about human traffickers, tracking down their activities, carrying out investigations and arresting the criminals,” she said.
The official noted that as the Covid-19 pandemic triggered economic issues and pushed several people to go out looking for greener pastures, an increase in human trafficking victims was recorded, especially in Africa and Asia.
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