Dubai Police has launched a campaign to crack down on gangs forcing domestic workers into prostitution. It also promised that trafficked housemaids will not be prosecuted, in an attempt to encourage more to come forward and report the crimes.
Housemaids are often recruited to the UAE with the promise of good jobs but then taken to brothels on arrival.
Prostitution in Dubai is a business that thrives on tourists and pink collar workers.
Dr Mohammed Al Murr, director of Dubai Police’s human rights department, was quoted as saying in Khaleej Times:
“[Traffickers] pick them up from the airport and take them to houses and flats and force them to work in prostitution.
“Usually [the maids’] are threatened so they will not call police.”
In other instances, housemaids work for their sponsor for a period of time and are later targeted by trafficking gangs.
“Maids are often lured to run away from their sponsor with promises of a better life and more money. But then they find themselves forced into prostitution,” Al Murr said.
“There has been a reduction in the instances of this crime and number of victims, but still we want to put an end to this.”
To tackle the issue, Dubai Police has launched a campaign to raise awareness of trafficking scams among recruitment agencies and local communities.
As part of the campaign, Dubai Police officials are to visit 111 recruitment offices across Dubai and distribute information pamphlets in nine languages among those arriving at Dubai’s airports.
Additionally, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) will help to spread awareness among domestic workers seeking employment in the UAE.