The Maldives has been upgraded to Tier 2 in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2021.
The Maldives was placed in the Department’s Trafficking Watchlist based on its performance in 2017. In 2020, the Maldives successfully avoided an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 by formulating a new action plan and streamlining the National Anti-Human Trafficking Steering Committee to facilitate regular meetings. A downgrade would have led to the cutting of non-humanitarian aid to the Maldives by the US government.
The US State Department notes that “the upgrade is a reflection of the progress the Maldivian government made in the past year, under difficult circumstances, to counter human trafficking.”
Minister of Defence Uza. Mariya Didi thanks His Excellency President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih for facilitating several anti-human trafficking initiatives last year, despite a host of constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notable initiatives include the setting-up of a victim shelter in Gulhifalhu, the allocation of funds from the State Budget for anti-human trafficking activities, including the establishment of an Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Anti-TIP) Office at the Ministry of Defence, and more recently, the ratification of the 2nd amendment to the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, in alignment with the 2000 United Nations TIP Protocol.
The Minister also thanks the Director of Anti-Human Trafficking Mr Ali Jaishan Amir and all members of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Steering Committee (NAHTSC), and the Committee’s local and international partners, for their energy, dynamism and overall commitment to the implementation of the Maldives National Anti-Human Trafficking Action Plan (2020-2022), under the “new normal” conditions.
Minister Mariya reaffirms the Government’s commitment to building on this progress and implementing the Action Plan in harmony with international law and best practices.