Maldives ratifies anti-human trafficking bill
COLOMBO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has ratified the Anti-Human Trafficking Bill, making it a criminal offence in the country, local media reported here on Monday.
The bill, passed by the parliament last week, has been published in the government gazette following ratification, local media outlet Haveeru reported.
The new legislation declares trafficking in persons a criminal offence in the Maldives.
The main objectives of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act include preventing trafficking of persons through and across the Maldives, establishing the crimes of trafficking in persons and prescribing the punishments.
Prosecution of perpetrators, providing protection and assistance to victims, promote and protecting the human rights of trafficked victims, and engaging with local and international Non- Governmental Organizations working to combat trafficking in persons are also objectives of the Act.
The move came after the U.S. state department listed the Maldives in the "Tier-2 Watch List" for the fourth consecutive year.
The Maldives also risks a "required downgrade" in the human trafficking placement next year.