THE HUMAN TRAFFICKING

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					                                                           Thefirst hoc group meetingof BoliProcess
                                                                  od

                                                                                              Bali,27-29 Jvly2009

                                                                                                         PAPER
                                                                                                   MALDIVES

THE HUMANTRAFFICKING


G o o d a f t e r n o o nC h a i r m a n ,l a d i e sa n d g e n t l e m a n .I a m H a m i d F a t h u h u l l a ,
D e p u t yC o n t r o l l e r f t h e D e p a r t m e n t f I m m i g r a t i o na n d E m i g r a t i o n f t h e
                             o                                  o                                              o
               .
M a l d i v e sF i r s to f a l l , I w o u l d l i k e t o c o n v e ya v e r y s p e c i a t h a n k so n b e h a l fo f
                                                                                             l
the Government Maldives, invitingus to participate this first Ad Hoc
                           of                    for                                          in
G r o u pm e e t i n go f t h e B a l i P r o c e s s .


T o d a y ,I w o u l d l i k e t o h i g h l i g h ts o m e a s p e c t so f t h e U S S t a t e D e p a r t m e n t
                               releasedrecently.Accordingto the Report,
report on Traffickingin Persons,
the Maldivesis primarily a destinationcountry for migrant workers from
B a n g l a d e s h n d I n d i a , a n d s o m e a r e t r a f f i c k e di n t o f o r c e d l a b o r a n d , t o a
                  a
lesserextent, a destinationcountryfor women traffickedfor the purposeof
                  l
c o m m e r c i as e x u a le x p l o i t a t i o n .


A t p r e s e n t ,t h e r e a r e 8 0 , 0 0 0 f o r e i g nw o r k i n gi n t h e M a l d i v e s m a i n l y i n t h e
                                                                                                   ,
construction
           and servicesectors.Sometimes,  these workers face fraudulent
recruitment practices, detention, confiscation of identity and travel
d o c u m e n t sd e b t b o n d a g e , r g e n e r a ls l a v e - l i k e o n d i t i o n sm p o s e db y s o m e
                   ,                    o                                 c                 i
e m p l o y e r sT h e r e w e r e a b o u t 2 0 t h o u s a n d o r k e r sw i t h o u t l e g a ls t a t u s ,y e t
                 ,                                              w
b o t h l e g a la n d i l l e g a l o r k e r sw e r e v u l n e r a b l eo c o n d i t i o n s f f o r c e dl a b o r .
                                   w                                      t                    o


D u e t o t h e s e p r o b l e m s ,t h e G o v e r n m e n t f M a l d i v e sh a v e t a k e n s t e p s t o
                                                             o
addressthe problem,especially                 after the participation in the Bali process
                                                                               of
m e e t i n gi n F e b r u a r y h i s y e a r 2 0 0 9 . I n m o s t c a s e s ,w h a t w e h a v e f o u n d i s
                                 t
t h a t , p r o b l e m sr e s u l t f r o m t h e l a c k o f a w a r e n e s s n t h e p u b l i c o r i n t h e
                                                                                i
s e n d i n g o u n t r i e s n d b e c a u s eh i s b u s i n e s sn v o l v e s c o n s i d e r a b lp r o f i tf o r
              c             a                    t                 i            a                      e
a g e n t s a n d e m p l o y e r s .T h e r e f o r et h e D e p a r t m e n to f I m m i g r a t i o n a n d
E m i g r a t i o n f t h e M a l d i v e s a s t a k e n a s t a n d a g a i n s tt r a f f i c k i n g o e n d t h i s
                  o                       h                                                             t
modernpracticeof slavery.


A l t h o u g ht h e M a l d i v e sd o e s n o t h a v e a n a n t i - h u m a nt r a f f i c k i n gl a w , t h e
Governmenthas pushed up its law enforcementefforts against trafficking.
The Constitution the Maldives
                 of               prohibitsforcedlabor and slaveryalso some
laws coveringsexualoffenses    and child protectioncould be usedto prosecute
sex trafficking and child trafficking offenses.The sexual offenses statute -
Section 773 of the Rules and Procedureadopted in February 2008 set
p e n a l t i e s f u p t o 1 5 y e a r si m p r i s o n m e n t .
                o


Thereforewe should find ways to get help from other organizations fight                               to
t h i s i s s u eo f m o d e r n - d a y l a v e r ya n d w e h o p e t o g e t s u p p o r ta n d h e l p f r o m
                                       s
participating        countriesof the Bali Process end the exploitation victimsof
                                                             to                                of
h u m a nt r a f f i c k i n gn t h e M a l d i v e s .
                             i


T R A F F I C K I N GI N M A L D I V E S


1: The forced transportation of people into Maldives,
35o/o the populationof Maldives composedof migrant workers, mostly
        of                                             is
f r o m B a n g l a d e s h , r i L a n k aa n d I n d i a . F r o mw h a t w e h a v ef o u n do u t t h r o u g h
                          S
interviewingsome of these foreign workers, some of them come without
knowingwhere they will be working and some were in the beliefthat there
were going to Qatar or Dubai,Thereforethere is a need to createawareness
amongthe job seekersof these countries.


T h e M a l d i v e s a s a n e s t i m a t e d2 0 , 0 0 0 i l l e g a lf o r e i g n e r sw h o d o o d d j o b s
                     h
a c r o s st h e c o u n t r y .A s o u r i s l a n d sa r e s c a t t e r e di n t h e I n d i a n o c e a n ,i t i s
difficultto locatewhere and how they are living.There were some reported
cases of foreign workers suffering from conditionsof withheld pdy, poor
l i v i n gc o n d i t i o n s n d f r a u d u l e n r e c r u i t m e n t .
                             a                       t
2z Trafficking victims and their involvement in sex trade.


Manytraffickedpersonsinto Maldives victimsof international
                                                        are                                        trafficking.
A s t h e r e i s a m a r k e t i n t h e M a l d i v e ss o m e f o r e i g nn a t i o n a lb r o u g h tw o m e n
                                                         ,
to the Maldives       for prostitution,most of these victims are used by migrant
w o r k e r si n t h e M a l d i v e s n d t h e c a r e t a k e o f t h e s el a d i e s a k e a l l t h e p r o f i t .
                                     a                           r                       t


T h e D e p a r t m e n t f I m m i g r a t i o na n d E m i g r a t i o n a s r e c o r d e ds o f a r s i n c e
                        o                                                h
2 0 0 9 , 7 m a l e s a n d 1 7 w o m e n i n v o l v e di n s e x t r a d e o r p r o s t i t u t i o n n t h e
                                                                                                       i
M a l d i v e sI.t i s u n c l e a ra s w h o i s t h e m a s t e r m i n d e h i n dt h i s . W e d o n o t h a v e
                                                                          b
a mechanism a system to investigate
           or                     these.All of them who are involved
i n t h i s i l l i c i t b e h a v i o ra r e f o r e i g n n a t i o n a l s n d t h e c u r r e n t p r a c t i c ei s t o
                                                                              a
s i m p l yd e p o r tt h e m t o t h e i r c o u n t r y .


In 2008 MaldivesPoliceServicesidentifiedtwo women as sex trafficking
victimsand they were providedtemporaryshelterbeforerepatriated
                                                             with the
h e l p o f t h e i r d i p l o m a t i cm i s s i o n i n M a l d i v e sa n d t h e r e w a s n o c r i m i n a l
prosecution      relatedto their exploitation.


3. Contract marriage
                                                 ,
R e c e n t h e t r e n d h a s i n c r e a s e do f B a n g l a d e s h ia t i o n a l s n d o t h e r M u s l i m s
                                                                       n                a
m i g r a n tw o r k e r sf r o m o t h e r c o u n t r i e so f f i n d i n ga M a l d i v i a n r i d e a n d t h e n
                                                             ,                                  b
g e t t i n g m a r r i e d .T h e r e a r e n o r e s t r i c t i o n s n t h i s , a s t h e y w i l l o b t a i n a
                                                                       o
m a r r i e dv i s a a n d a l s o t h e y c a n e s t a b l i s h b u s i n e s s a s i l y o n c e t h e y a r e
                                                                  a               e
                                     T
m a r r i e dt o a M a l d i v i a n . h e s a d r e a l i t y i s t h a t m o s t o f t h e B a n g l a d e s h i
married visa holderswill not open a business                         that caters to Maldivians,          but
i n s t e a do f t h a t t h e y m o r e u s u a l l yo p e n a n e m p l o y m e n ta g e n c y a n d f i n d
q u o t a s o b r i n gi n t h e i r n a t i o n a l so t h e M a l d i v e sd u m p i n g ) .
            t                                        t                      (


T h e l o c a lc u s t o m so f t h e M a l d i v e ss , w h o e v e ri s a M u s l i m ,t h e y a r e e l i g i b l e
                                                    i
to be a wife of Muslims.As every country has poverty, Maldivesalso faces
t h i s i s s u e s .W h i l e p o v e r t y a n d i n e q u a l i t y r e i m p o r t a n tf a c t o r s i n m a k i n g
                                                                      a
c e r t a i np o p u l a t i o n s o r e v u l n e r a b l ei,t i s s a d t h a t t h e s e a g e n c i e s r i n gt h e i r
                                 m                                                                        b
own nationalsunder false documentsand promisesof a better pay and a
better environment.


S o , t h e s em a r r i a g e s r e r e a l l yn o t a m a r r i a g e I n s t e a d ,i t i s a m a r r i a g e o n d
                               a                                        .                                       b
that involvesa profit to both parties- husbandand wife.
         Eg:
    a    a monthly pay or salaryfor the wife and medicalsupportfor the family.
    a    a b s e n c e f a r e l a t i o n s h ia s h u s b a n d n d w i f e .
                     o                          p               a


Mostof these peopleare marriedto localwomen who are in their middleage
a n d w i t h l e s so p p o r t u n i t i e s ,


4: Can we do anything to minimize this huge issue
We are committed to make an enormous difference in improving the
conditions of expatriate workers in the Maldives and held victims of
traffickingand to work towards combating human trafficking and people
smuggling.


                                it
To combat these new challenges, is very important to train and educate
our immigrationofficersand other relatedpersonnel
                                                and we look forward to
h e l pf r o m i n t e r n a t i o n a l r g a n i z a t i o ns u c h a s I . O . M .t o t r a i n o u r i m m i g r a t i o n
                                      o                       s
and other law-enforcementofficers on different training programs on a
c o n t i n u i n g a s i s .A n d p a r t i c i p a t i o in m e e t i n g s u c h a s t h e s e w o u l d b e m o s t
                  b                                          n              s
useful.I also believethat to move forward,it is importantto establish focal
                                                                     a
p o i n ta s i n i t i a ls t a g e .


5. Building a new Border Control System


As our current border control system has a few limitations,it is difficultto
identify and to monitor both, people traffickingand illegal movementsof
migrant workers. Also this system is not fit for the current situation.
Therefore,the government is looking for a new system which is called
" M a l d i v e sI m m i g r a t i o ns y s t e m . " T h e c o n c e p ti s t o r e c o g n i z e n d i d e n t i f y
                                                                                                  a
migrant workers from any part of the country with the help of electronic
gadget which is carried by most of the law enforcementofficers.On the
other hand each visa card issuedto a foreignworker'sstatus can be read by
t h i s g a d g e t .T h e o t h e r u s e o f t h i s d e v i c ei s t o p r o v i d ea s s i s t a n c t o o t h e r l a w
                                                                                                         e
e n f o r c i n gb o d i e s ; a n d t h e i n f o r m a t i o n t o r e d c a n b e e x c h a n g e d o o t h e r
                                                                s                                     t
                  m
d i p l o m a t i c i s s i o n so r a n y a s s e s s m e n t .
                                f


Detention centre for illegal migrant workers


E a r l i e r h i s y e a r , t h e D e p a r t m e no f I m m i g r a t i o n r o v i d e d h e o p p r t u n i t y o r
             t                                       t                        p             t                      f
i l l e g a l w o r k e r s i n t h e M a l d i v e st o r e t u r n h o m e w i t h t h e D e p a r t m e n t ' s
assistance get registered.When workers in distress sought assistance
                    or
f r o m t h e D e p a r t m e no f I m m i g r a t i o n o g o b a c kt o t h e i r c o u n t r y ,g o v e r n m e n t
                                t                      t
l a c k e d d e q u a t e e s o u r c e so s u p p o r t h e m .
           a             r              t


A d e t e n t i o nc e n t r e f o r i l l e g a lw o r k e r sw a s e s t a b l i s h e dn A u g u s t 2 0 0 8 , b u t
                                                                                         i
many rooms need to be upgraded.Lack of capacity,lack of staff, need for
t r a i n i n g t o h a n d l e d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n sa n d t h e n e e d t o p r o v i d e a b e t t e r
a c c o m m o d a t i n g n d a b e t t e r e n v i r o n m e n ta r e i s u e s t h a t n e e d t o b e
                          a
addressed.         Also this centre can be used for arrest and removal of persons
who overstays          their entry permit.


W e h o p e t h a t t h i s m e e t i n g w i l l h e l p t o r a i s e a w a r e n e s sa n d a c t i o n s
                     y
c o l l e c t i v e la n d i n d i v i d u a l l w i l l h e l pt h e v i c t i m se a c ha n d e v e r yd a y .
                                                 y

          j
P l e a s eo i n M a l d i v e s n d b e w e l c o m e dn t o t h e g r o w i n gm o v e m e n t o c o m b a t
                               a                       i
this modernform of slaverytoday!
T h a n ky o u .
Submitted bv:

H a m i dF a t h u h u l l a
D e p u t y C o n t r o l l e ro f I m m i g r a t i o n a n d E m i g r a t i o n
Republic f Maldives
             o
        l                                                      o
E m a i : h . f a t h u h u l l a @ i m m i g r a t i o n . gm v .