Saudi Arabia steps up fight against human trafficking: UNODC

Saudi Arabia among the countries to succeed in developing a national system that addresses trafficking-in-persons challenges


RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is stepping up the fight against people trafficking, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s regional representative for the GCC region.

“The Kingdom has adopted substantive reforms in combating trafficking in persons . . . UNODC highly applauds the Human Rights Commission’s efforts and values its partnership,” Judge Hatem Aly said.

The judge applauded Saudi Arabia’s anti-trafficking-in-persons efforts, especially the legal and institutional reforms implemented over the past year.

Aly noted the work of the Kingdom’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, chaired by the president of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), on creating the National Referral Mechanism, the first national coordination framework to help in the identification of victims, provision of necessary care and prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes.

In a statement to the press, Aly said that these combined efforts contributed to advancing the Kingdom’s status in UN assessments and the assessments of other countries on compliance to the measures related to curb trafficking in persons.

This was reflected in the most recent Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the US Department of State, which ranked Saudi Arabia among the countries to succeed in developing a national system that addresses trafficking-in-persons challenges.

Aly said: “We shall continue to work toward additional achievements under the partnership between the UNODC and the Human Rights Commission. We are proud of what has been accomplished here. Not only did our training activities and workshops continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but we have actually accelerated our training schedule by leveraging virtual platforms.”

Aly said that the partnership between UNODC and HRC will continue until the Saudi model is complete and until Saudi Arabia is able to present itself as a successful model on the regional and international levels.

“The Saudi model we are creating will be the product of our joint efforts to develop a national Saudi system to combat trafficking in persons and offer the victims of these heinous crimes the care they need and the compassion they deserve,” he said.

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