Expat worker rights will be protected: Minister Fayyaz

Economic Development Minister Fayyaz Ismail | Photo: Sun

Male’, Maldives – The Minister of Economic Affairs of Maldives, Fayyaz Ismail has reassured the international community that the Maldivian legal system ensures safety for all expatriate workers and their families, and that all basic rights will be ensured as well.

Speaking virtually at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) session on Maldives held online at the Geneva UN office, Minister Fayyaz said that the Maldives has collectively put in a lot of effort in ensuring the rights of all workers that the government is working very closely with relevant authorities to ensure the rights of the foreign workers who are require it the most. He also added that to the country has also brought changes to the legislature and has made it mandatory to improve the living conditions of all foreign workers.

“We assure the international community that the country’s legal system will provide protection, and that Maldives is ready to ensure all basic rights and requirements.” Fayyaz said.

However, he highlighted that while the country has signed the international treaty to stop human trafficking and punish those who commit the crime in 2016, there are some obstacles for Maldives in this regard. He highlighted that Maldives needs to carryout additional work in punishing such perpetrators.

The Minister further detailed the work being done by the Maldives in providing safety and protection for those who have become victims of human trafficking, specifying that accommodation separate arrangements have been made for males, females and children. He also added that the country works with international stakeholders and relevant authorities in assisting the return of such individuals back home.

He went on the state that the country has also formulated an action plan to put a stop to human trafficking and that the action plan is now in implementation, although some changes had to be brought to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The human trafficking which takes place in bringing foreign workers in the country is one of the top reasons Maldives is scrutinized by the international community. However, the narrow definition of human trafficking in the Maldivian laws have made convicting such criminals difficult, due to which, the country is working on amending such legislature.