05 Aug 2012 / Male;
Government assured its commitment to strengthen its laws and policies to address the issue of human trafficking in the country.In an interview to Dhitv’sProgramme State Minister for Foreign Affairs, H.E. DunyaMaumoon has stated that the government duly notes the issue of human trafficking in the country and stated that the matter needs to be resolved soon. While addressing on the issue state Minister highlighted that counter trafficking issues are impeded by the lack of understanding of the issue and also the lack of legal structure in the country. Maldives currently does not have an anti-human trafficking law in the country, however, the constitution prohibits forced labor and slavery in the country, and the Employment Act prohibits most forms of forced labor. Government has been getting assistance from the Australia’s Attorney General’s Department in drafting its laws on anti-human trafficking, the draft which is already been completed and needs translation into Dhivehi. Government hopes to submit before the parliament draft bill on anti-human trafficking before the end of this year.
While welcoming the positive comments made by the Human Rights Committee at its concluding observation on the Maldives, State Minister also raised concern on some of the recommendation by the committee which affect any laws of Islamic Shariah.The committee has made recommendation to Maldives to remove reservation on article 18 of the covenant on civil and Political rights which provides freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Several provisions in the laws and regulations of the Maldives already grant the right to freedom of expressions and thought.State Minister also noted that the constitution of Maldives, the social framework, historical and traditional values does not allow for other religions to be practiced in the Maldives therefore, the recommendation on freedom of religion cannot be accepted by the Government.