Foreign Affairs Minister remarks in response to the outcome of the TIP 2017 report

“Maldives Upgrading to Tier 2 in the TIP Report is a Strong Endorsement of the Government’s Policies against Human Trafficking”, says Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohamed Asim. The Minister, in making remarks in response to the outcome of the TIP 2017 report, further noted that the decision by the authors of the 2017 Report to upgrade the Maldives shows strong recognition and acceptance of the Maldives’s strengthened efforts to combat trafficking in persons by adopting necessary legislation, and implementing key initiatives introduced by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom’s Government.

The Maldives has made commendable progress in combatting trafficking in persons, and has been upgraded to Tier 2 in the latest U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017. This upgrade, according to the Report, is based on Government efforts to combat trafficking in persons, compared to the previous reporting period.

“The Government demonstrated increasing efforts by convicting traffickers under its trafficking law for the first time. The Government increased investigations, prosecutions, and the identification of trafficking victims. The Government acceded to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, launched awareness campaigns and amended its employment act to require employers to establish and pay employees’ salaries through bank accounts”, says the 2017 TIP Report.

During the reporting period, the Maldives Police has reportedly investigated 11 trafficking cases, 10 cases of forced labour and one sex trafficking case. The Government has also prosecuted 4 new human trafficking cases, which is an increase from zero from the three previous reporting periods. The first conviction for human trafficking was also secured during this reporting period, which is a major achievement for the Government of the Maldives. The Report also makes positive note of strengthened victim protection and prevention of the crime in the country.

Minister Asim also emphasized the pivotal role played by the Ministry of Economic Development and Maldives Immigration, and assured that the Foreign Ministry will continue to play a key role in disseminating information, inter-agency coordination, reporting, and raising domestic awareness on human trafficking.