Male’, Maldives – Efforts to broaden the meaning of human trafficking and to take any monetary benefit received via the crime to the state has been initiated today.
While the preliminary discussions regarding the bill, which was forwarded to the Parliament by MP of Hinnavaru constituency Jeehaan Mahmood, started today, the main highlight was that the definition of human trafficking was proposed to be broadened in the country, to include crimes such as bringing expatriates in false pretext after taking money from them, and then refusing to pay for labour, under human trafficking – an issue which was become increasingly troublesome in the country.
According to the bill, any of the following acts shall be deemed as human trafficking, should it be done using force, intimidation to use force, by deceit, by undue use of designation, or by paying someone who may have influence over the person;
- Brining or moving an individual from abroad to Maldives or vice versa
- Moving an individual from one place of Maldives to another
- Taking charge or keeping of an individual brought as such
- Recruiting someone for employment
The bill also proposes to include any consent gained through coercing in any of these scenarios to be considered as human trafficking.
Further, any monetary gain or property acquired via such illegal activities will also be taken to the state, as per the bill. It also states that this money is to be utilized by the state to provide the required assistance for the victims of those who have been trafficked.
Another highlight of the bill is that it also explicitly prohibits exploitation, such as confiscation of passports.
MP Jeehan, speaking on the matter said that many of these issues are currently not classified as human trafficking, as the law does not allow so. She further said that the bill aims to align the policies of the country with regards to human trafficking, as per the United Nation’s Convention on Organized Crime, of which, Maldives has signed a protocol to stop human trafficking.