20 May 2015, Male’; Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Ms. Dunya Maumoon has launched the National Anti-Human Trafficking Action Plan this morning.
Officiating the ceremony held at Citron, Minister Dunya underscored the commitment of the Government to combat human trafficking in the country. “Eliminating the menace of human trafficking is a key priority of His Excellency President Yameen Abdul Gayoom and this was clearly demonstrated when the first piece of legislation enacted by him after assuming office was the Anti-Human Trafficking Law”, said Minister Dunya.
“Extensive work has been done by the Government in building capacity of law enforcement agencies to identify traffickers and victims as well as create awareness amongst the general public on the issue. The Maldives has graduated to Tier 2 of the Human Trafficking Watch list, but there is always a danger of slipping back if our work slows down”, said the Minister. She urged all stakeholders to continue all efforts in this regard.
The Foreign Minister further highlighted the work done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this issue by continuously working with the Maldives’ bilateral and multilateral partners in strengthening the national framework to combat human trafficking. In 2013 the Foreign Ministry steered a “Blue Ribbon” campaign, which created partnerships with media outlets on securing airtime and print space aimed at disseminating information on human trafficking within society.
The five year action plan launched today reflects a comprehensive strategy that adopts a holistic approach by all stakeholders in combating human trafficking. It seeks to address prevention, victim protection, criminal prosecution and international cooperation, and provides for separate shelters for male and female victims of trafficking. Furthermore the National Action Plan will also focus to formulate policies to combat trafficking and create awareness within the community.
Today’s ceremony was hosted by the Minister of Economic Development Mr Mohamed Saeed.