IOM Receives Award of Recognition for Counter-Trafficking Efforts in Maldives

Posted: 
04/14/16

Maldives - IOM Maldives has received an award for services rendered to the Maldives Police Service in the fight against human traffickng. The award was given by Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Maldives, Hon. Umar Naseer and was received on behalf of IOM by Shareen Tuladhar, IOM Project Manager in the Maldives. A special national event was held to mark the occasion hosted by the Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef, attended by the Guest of Honour His Excellency President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, along with other Cabinet Members, Senior Government Officials, Maldives Police Service Officers, and other dignitaries.

At the event His Excellency President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom spoke about the importance for the Maldives Police to work toward preserving human rights and human dignity while exercising their duty. Furthermore, he remarked “respecting fundamental rights and human dignity is the basis for democratic policing.” During the event, Police Commissioner Ahmed Areef thanked the international partners for their support in various pillars of law and order. Along with IOM, three other partners – Australian Federal Police, Embassy of the People's Republic of China and Per Aquum Niyama Resort were awarded recognition for their continued support.

Funded by the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, IOM is currently in Phase II of its project “Comprehensive Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Maldives”. IOM in collaboration with Maldives Police Services have been conducting a series of trainings to frontline law enforcement officers on victim identification, investigative and evidence collection skills for human trafficking crimes across the country. IOM is also developing a comprehensive training curriculum to strengthen the capacity of law enforcement officials in the Maldives to respond to human trafficking cases and also provide protection and referral for victims of trafficking. IOM continues to provide technical support on various areas related to orderly migration and human trafficking through its work on victim identification guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures on victim protection and referral, case management system, and awareness raising.

In the Maldives, the Anti-Human Trafficking legislation was introduced in 2013 and the procedures are still at a nascent stage of implementation. Therefore, IOM’s role under the counter-trafficking project funded by the US Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons is focused at strengthening the capacity of Government agencies to address human trafficking as well as ensure required services are made available to the victims of trafficking through a victim-centred approach.

Project Manager Shareen Tuladhar remarked, “It is indeed an honour to be recognised for work in the country at such a high level. We look forward to many more collaborative efforts to achieving our common goal of countering human trafficking and providing justice.” Rana Waheed, Head of International Affairs Division, Maldives Police Service commented, “Maldives Police Service is deeply grateful to IOM for their sincere work to tackle the issue of human trafficking and people smuggling in the Maldives. IOM has assisted the police in capacity building and training many officials on victim identification and investigation of human trafficking offenses. We hope that it is a partnership with IOM that will remain strong throughout many years to come."

For further information, please contact Giuseppe Crocetti, IOM Sri Lanka and Maldives, Tel:  +9415325300, Email: gcrocetti@iom.int or Shareen Tuladhar, Tel: +960 7950555, Email: shtuladhar@iom.int or Ihma Shareef, Tel: +960 7757646, Email: ishareef@iom.int

Maldives Minister of Home Affairs Hon. Umar Naseer (left) presents a service award to IOM Maldives project manager Shareen Tuladhar. Photo: Police.MV