As a destination country without strong provisions to protect of foreign workers, or prosecute trafficking-related offences, Maldives has become a destination country for forced labour. In 2010, the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report placed the Maldives on its Tier 2 Watch List due to the Government’s inability of to investigate or prosecute offences related to the trafficking of persons (United States Department of State 2010).
According to the Report, an estimated 30,000 foreign workers in the construction and service sectors are without legal status and are subject to exploitation (United States Department of State 2010). However, lack of available data hampers efforts to assess the full impact of human trafficking in the country. In Malé, the Government faces ongoing problems in systematically identifying victims of forced sex work and those trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude (ADB and IOM 2009). Internal trafficking of women and girls from the outer atolls to Malé primarily for the purposes of domestic labour and sex work have also been reported.