Doha: US Ambassador-at-Large Luis CdeBaca from the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking-in-Persons has expressed his appreciation of the law approved by Qatar making human trafficking a criminal offence, which provides 15 year jail for those found guilty and providing protection to the victims, who will not be held legally responsible or deported because of the circumstances related to the human trafficking crime.
“The passage of this law last week really provides the rule of law in this area. There was a commitment on the part of the Qatari authorities to preserve the rights of workers, now we have a legal framework,” said CdeBaca. “We had a decade of developing anti trafficking laws, now we move to a decade of delivery” he said, adding that now we need to see traffickers in prisons and victims freed. The trafficking in person report 2011 of the US State Department provides a global law enforcement data that show that from 2007 to 2010 the number of labour trafficking prosecutions have increased, but not the number of convictions that have actually decreased significantly. These data shows that the development that we need to see in this new decade is related to convictions number or rather true coercive action.
The situation in the Gulf is between bad and worst regarding human trafficking. According to trafficking in person report 2011 of the US State Department, Qatar is in tier 2 watch list.
“In the Gulf we are facing different levels of activity. Dubai police is active in combating human trafficking for sex. This activity resulted in more than 50 cases last year. In Oman we saw victim care at shelter homes provided by the government,” said CdeBaca. He said that Qatar has an immediate victim protection, but needs to define a long term immigration status, giving the chance to the victims of trafficking to working in the country, bringing their families like the United States does.
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