Harsher penalties to be introduced for human trafficking crimes
In conformity with its commitment to fight human trafficking, the government has published a bill to amend the Criminal code and introduce new harsher penalties for any offences or actions related to the heinous crime.
Through the new amendments in the legislative framework, anyone inciting, aiding or abetting any act of human trafficking would be liable to punishment while victims of human trafficking would not be entitled to compensation.
Compensation is currently only awarded only to victims of violent crimes.
The Bill also introduces a punishment in respect of any person who knowingly makes use of the services or labour of a trafficked person, or who otherwise benefits from such services.
These amendments are intended to discourage the demand for services provided by trafficked persons and seek to clamp down on any exploitation and trafficking.
This amendment is in line with recommendations made by the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) in their report relating to Malta. This amendment is intended to curb the demand for services provided by trafficked persons.
In a statement, the government reiterated its position against any form of human trafficking and explained that some of these amendments transpose an EU Directive on preventing and combating human trafficking and its victims.