IOM conducts human trafficking workshop for police and immigration officials

International Organization for Migration has commenced a Human Trafficking training workshop for Police and Immigration officials.

The four-day workshop participants will be informed on internatinal best practice on conducting investigations and dealing with victim of human trafficking. The workshop will cover both labor and sex trafficking.

Assistant Controller of Immigration Ali Ashraf informed Minivan News last week that the training would help prepare immigration officials for the recently ratified anti-trafficking bill.

Those found guilty of human trafficking can now face up to 10 years for cases involving adults, which can be extended to up to 15 if children are involved. Accomplices to trafficking can also now receive a seven year sentence.

“Implementation of the bill will require a lot of effort and coordination,” said Ashraf.

The Maldives’ has remained on the US State Department’s Tier 2 watchlist for four years, being warned this year that only significant improvements in this area could save it from relegation to Tier 3 and potential sanctions.

A government-ordered report in 2011 revealed human trafficking to be the Maldives second most lucrative industry after tourism – worth an estimated US$123million a year.


Vice President urges legislation to combat human trafficking

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed spoke yesterday at a meeting on human trafficking in the South Asia region, and called for an effort from law enforcement agencies, government authorities, civil society and international organisations to combat human trafficking in the region.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) produced a report on the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking of Women and Children for Prostitution, where they said the Maldives is a country “where the primary form of trafficking is forced labour.”

Dr Waheed noted although the problem is global, Asia has the highest index of human trafficking.

The vice president said there was a concern that “human trafficking could become a growing problem in our country,” and noted the suggestions made by the ADB and IOM.

He said the government is working on combating the issue, and has mechanisms in place to repatriate victims who are brought to the Maldives.

He said there needed to be a more vigorous effort to form legislation and governmental machinery to combat trafficking.