03 December 2013, Male; The Peoples Majlis (Parliament) has today passed the bill on Anti Human Trafficking. The new legislation clearly makes trafficking in persons a criminal offence in the Maldives. The enactment of measures under the bill also ensures added protection to trafficked victims. Once the bill is enacted penalties for perpetrators of trafficking offence include from 10 to 15 years jail imprisonment. The bill also criminalizes offenses such as forced labour and fraudulent recruitment as acts of human trafficking. Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Ms. Dunya Maumoon has today noted the passing of the bill from the Parliament as important not only to prevent and combat human trafficking in the Maldives, but also to bring justice to trafficked persons. ‘We believe that these severe penalties will serve as a deterrent to potential perpetrators’.
The issue of trafficking in persons is a grave concern for the Government, given its domestic and international commitments. As a member of the Human Rights Council, the Government has always been advocating for stringent measures to curb all actions that encroach human dignity.