Maldives Police Build Counter Trafficking Capacity

Maldives - Police officers are often the first responders in cases of human trafficking and play a crucial role in prevention and prosecution of traffickers.

The phenomenon is on the rise the Maldives, where IOM and the government are trying to ensure the successful conviction of more traffickers, to improve assistance to victims and to protect vulnerable people by equipping the police with the necessary skills.

IOM has this week been working with a group of 25 senior Maldives police officers from the Crime Investigation Command, Human Trafficking Investigation Unit, Victim Support Services Unit, and Family and Children Protection Department.

Topics under discussion included how to manage a trafficking hotline, how to improve the police response to victims, and how to create a larger pool of specialized officers.

“The Maldives police initiative to operate a dedicated hotline for victims is a very positive step that underlines the government’s commitment to combat trafficking. The hotline number is a very important medium for people to reach out and ask for help,” said IOM project manager Shareen Tuladhar.

“It is important for the Maldives Police Service to acquire the skills and knowledge to investigate and tackle this crime in the Maldives. I would like to thank the IOM for their continued efforts over the years to professionalize the services provided by Maldives Police Service; to enhance the capacity of investigators in order to facilitate investigations of this crime; and to identify victims of trafficking in the Maldives,” said Maldives Minister of Home Affairs Azleen Ahmed.

Anyone in the Maldives can call either 9500125 (Police Human Trafficking Hotline) or 1696 (Ministry of Economic Development Hotline) to report cases of human trafficking.

IOM in the Maldives is currently implementing a counter trafficking project supported by the US State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Earlier this month, IOM donated the necessary technical equipment to record and monitor calls on a hotline currently operated by the Maldives Police Human Trafficking Investigation Unit. IOM is also developing a comprehensive training curriculum on human trafficking for police officers.

For further information, please contact Shareen Tuladhar at IOM Maldives, Email:, Tel. +94 11 532 5300.