Maldives jumps to Tier 2 in US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2021

Malé, Maldives – Maldives has been upgraded to Tier 2 in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2021 earlier this month.

In their statements regarding the World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2021, the government reiterated its commitment to strengthening its efforts to comprehensively address trafficking in persons, which has been a deep-rooted issue with a long history of systematic failures in border management.

The government undertook a number of key initiatives during the Covid-19 pandemic including the establishment of an Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Anti-TIP) Office along with the appointment of a Director of Anti-Human Trafficking at the Ministry of Defence, the allocation of funds from the State Budget for anti-human trafficking activities, the setting-up of a victim shelter in Gulhifalhu, and the ratification of the 2nd amendment to the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, in alignment with the 2000 United Nations TIP Protocol.

Human trafficking is one atrocity we can no longer afford to be complacent about. It is not only a crime against humanity, but also a violation of human rights. Protecting the vulnerable victims of trafficking is a cause close to the heart of President Solih’s administration.

Defence Minister Mariya Didi

This year’s theme – “Victims’ Voices Lead the Way” – resonates deeply with our role as the Line Ministry. Currently, our Anti-TIP Office team is engaged with drafting the Victim Assistance and Shelter Service Regulation and formulating an Anti-TIP Communications Strategy with an emphasis on victim voices.

Funds were allocated from the State Budget for the TIP Office and the National Action Plan (NAP) to improve anti-trafficking activities, through the National Anti-Human Trafficking Steering Committee, its Member Institutions and Partner Agencies.

In addition to the US, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom has also removed the Maldives from its list of Human Rights Priority Countries.