Maldives, June 29 (newsin.asia) – Maldives Foreign Minister, Mohamed Asim, on Thursday said his country had made commendable progress in combating human trafficking and had been upgraded to Tier 2 in the latest ‘US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report 2017’.
In a statement, Asim said Maldives upgrading to Tier 2 in the TIP Report was a strong endorsement of the government’s policies against Human Trafficking.
He added it also showed the Maldives strengthened efforts to combat trafficking in persons by adopting necessary legislation and implementing key initiatives introduced by President Abdulla Yameen’s government.
“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,” Asim said.
During the period the US report was compiled, the Maldives Foreign Ministry said it had 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 Foreign Ministry said the first conviction for human trafficking was also secured during this reporting period, which was an achievement for the Maldives government.
The US State Department report also makes positive note of strengthened victim protection and prevention of the crime in the country.
Minister Asim also emphasized on 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 co-ordination, reporting and raising domestic awareness on human trafficking.