Colombo: Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has ratified the Anti-Human Trafficking Bill, making it a criminal offence in the country, media reported here Monday.
The bill, passed by parliament last week, has been published in the government gazette following ratification, according to media reports.
The new legislation declares trafficking in people a criminal offence in the Maldives, reports Xinhua.
The main objectives of the Anti-Human Trafficking Act include preventing trafficking of people through and across the Maldives, establishing the crimes of trafficking in persons and prescribing the punishment.
Prosecution of perpetrators, providing protection and assistance to victims, promoting and protecting the human rights of trafficked victims and engaging with non-governmental organisations working to combat trafficking in persons are also objectives of the act.
The move came after the US State Department listed the Maldives in the "Tier-2 Watch List" for the fourth consecutive year.
The Maldives also risks a "required downgrade" in human trafficking placement the next year.