The Maldives has significant issues with human trafficking for labour, particularly in the construction and services sectors, and is placed on Tier 2 Watchlist on the 2018 US Trafficking in Persons report.
IOM approaches trafficking in persons within the overall context of migration management. IOM implements a broad range of activities alongside the Government of the Maldives, NGOs, international organizations and the private sector. IOM adheres to three principles in all counter-trafficking activities:
Respect for human rights;
Physical, mental and social well-being of the individual, and his or her community; and
Sustainability through institutional capacity building of governments and civil society
IOM conducts both quantitative and qualitative research as an essential information source to support the fight against human trafficking. Specific areas of focus have included studying human trafficking routes and trends, the causes and consequences of human trafficking both for the individual trafficked person and for society, as well as the structures, motivations, and operations of organized criminal groups. While much of this work has been done at national level, IOM also collects and analyzes data on human trafficking from a regional perspective to better support cooperation between states to combat cross-border trade. IOM uses the findings from its considerable research, and the findings of its partners to suggest recommendations.
More directly, IOM conducts capacity building trainings for various public- and private-sector stakeholders in Male and other islands to increase their awareness and support their response to human-trafficking, provides direct assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations and conducts nationwide awareness raising campaigns.