Saudi Arabia and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Monday signed an agreement to build a legal and institutional framework to combat human trafficking crimes. President of the Saudi Arabia Human Rights Commission (HRC) Dr. Hala bint Mazyad bin Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri stressed that the Kingdom has strived to build a legal and institutional framework by enacting international agreements, and the agreement is a continuous strategy to guarantee “the protection of all persons from [human trafficking] crimes without discrimination.” Dr. Al-Tuwaijri believes the agreement will strengthen the cooperation with regional and international stakeholders while expanding national capacities to prevent and punish human trafficking.Saudi Arabia attracts migrant workers from around the globe. In 2021 alone, the government investigated 346 potential trafficking cases which involved 377 alleged traffickers. According to the UNODC, the most common types of human trafficking include forced labour, sexual exploitation and begging by children.The agreement continues to focus on projects, initiatives, activities and training programs to meet the objectives of Saudi Arabia’s national action plan (NAP) of the Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons. The NAP is one of the ongoing efforts of Saudi Arabia to deal with human trafficking issues after the Kingdom launched its first-ever national referral mechanism (NRM) in March 2020. The collaborative framework within the NRM aims to help government officials coordinate to prevent trafficking and protect victims using clear guidelines in identifying, assisting and investigating human trafficking cases.

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