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UAE continues to tackle racial profiling, says ambassador

The UAE has been tackling the issue of discrimination and racial profiling through recently introduced legislation, according to the county’s UN representative.

Obaid Salem Al Zaabi, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) and other International Organisations in Geneva, said the country has made a number a step towards addressing the issue of racial profiling, including the recently introduced Federal Law No. 2 (2015), on combating discrimination and hatred, which criminalises religious contempt and other forms of discrimination between individuals and groups on the basis of religion, belief, ethnicity, colour or race. It also combats the use of religion in seeking to place blame upon peoples and groups.

Al Zaabi made his comments during a speech at the 34th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, during a panel discussion on racial profiling and the incitement of hatred.

He said the UAE is seeking to adopt policies for raising awareness about the culture of tolerance, noting that the government established a Ministry for Tolerance in 2016, which he said reflects the promotion of co-existence, dialogue and the values of cultural pluralism, as well as rejecting all types of extremism, hatred and violence.

Al Zaabi said the main feature of racial profiling is the discriminatory practice by law enforcement officials, to target individuals on the basis of race, religion or national origin, along with other features. He added that increased cases of unethical practices are considered as matters of concern, while stressing that such practices are driven by personal behaviours, highlighting the lack of suitable legislation, which encourages impunity among law enforcement officials and a lack of accountability.

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