Trafficking in human beings is a complex, multi-faceted crime that gravely violates of human rights, and affects many countries, including Malta. The crime intersects with a number of issues, including migration, economic hardship, fundamental rights, rule of law, law enforcement and crime control, inequality and discrimination, among others.

The Unit collaborates closely with a number of entities from different Ministries to ensure a holistic anti-trafficking strategy to its intersectional features.

Malta also collaborates extensively with European and international organisations to advance global cooperation, share best practices, and uphold its commitments under applicable laws.

Collaborations in fulfilment of 2023 Electoral Manifesto Measure 979

Malta has participated in the Blue Heart Campaign and is expanding its commitment in the fight against the global phenomenon of human trafficking through work with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

In fulfilment of 2023 Electoral Manifesto Measure 979 and in support of the UN Blue Heart Campaign, FIAU, HRD and FSWS organised events that address cohorts of different professionals, including public & private service workers and providers and strengthen the national cooperation to reach every victim of human trafficking.

The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) organized a Partnership Initiative between the Public and Private institutions responsible for dealing with Human Trafficking and the Risks of Modern Slavery. Dr. Lynn Chircop Faure was invited to speak about the national initiatives and mechanisms led by the Initiatives Unit within the Directorate of Human Rights and the necessary national cooperation through the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the Private sectors and Civil Organizations to combat human trafficking.

This activity was organized over two days with the aim of raising awareness among Malta's financial sector and discussing and developing indicators of human trafficking and red flags from the FIAU in order to improve the reporting of suspicious transactions in Malta, among other objectives. This activity was attended by Credit Institutions, a number of Financial Institutions that provide services in Malta, as well as a number of competent, supervisory and other public authorities.​

HRIU & FSWS invited to participate in a Joint Interview on TVAM on the abuse of foreign workers and social injustices

Dr Lynn Chircop Faure - Senior Manager Human Rights Initiatives Unit and Chairperson Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee

Ms. Stephania Caruana - Coordinator and Social Worker FSWS

Collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner for Children and the Foundation for Social Welfare Services

Collaboration between the BeSmartOnline! and the Human Rights Initiatives Unit

The Human Rights Initiatives Unit collaborated with BeSmartOnline!​ within the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) on the publication of leaflets to raise awareness on the dangers of online grooming and human trafficking.

These leaflets are aimed at parents and guardians, and provide information on signs and indicators of online grooming and human trafficking as well as provide guidance on how to take action when suspecting that a child is being targeted by an online groomer. This initiative is in-line with Actions 10 and 11 of the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking (2020 - 2023).​

All Equal Project - Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS) – co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (2014-2020)

The Directorate works closely with other Ministries and entities on various levels. Similarly, the Unit is participating in the project All Equal: Supporting Victims of Human Trafficking funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (2014-2020) and being implemented by Aġenzija Appoġġ within the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS). The aim of the project is to provide support to TCNs who are victims of human trafficking by promoting and safeguarding their pyschological wellbeing and empowering them to re-gain control and lead independent lives. The Malta Police Force and the Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality are the official partners of the project. 

As part of the project deliverables, a series of roundtables are being organized to which the Human Rights Initiatives Unit contributes. During these meetings relevant stakeholders discuss ways in which they can collaborate further between them to ensure the maximum protection and support to victims of trafficking.

In collaboration with the All Equal Project, a series of outreach sessions within the migrant community are being organised to raise awareness on what is human trafficking, how to identify signs of trafficking, where to report and the services available to potential victims of trafficking. The first session took place as part of the Blue Heart Campaign 2022​, and aims to contribute towards the implementation of Action 11 of the National Action Plan on Human Trafficking 2020-2023.​

Malta Police Force

The Unit works closely with the Malta Police Force particularly on prosecution elements of the crime, but not only. A training programme will be launched for the benefit of police officials, in particular border control officers and police officers at border crossing points in relation to the identification of potential human trafficking cases, as part of enhancing identification efforts. The programme will focus on the drafting of a check list to assist risk of human trafficking, and training in relation to the referral of potential cases. This action will also contribute to the FRONTEX Action Plan on anti-trafficking.

Commission on Gender-Based Vi​olence and Domestic Violence (CDV) - Guidelines for Multiagency for the Protection and Support of Victims of Human Trafficking

The Group of Experts on Action agianst Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO)​ strongly encourages the Maltese authorities to set up institutionalised structures for co-ordination and co-operation among all of the different governmental and non-governmental agencies and service providers to ensure multi-agency co-operation based on a gendered understanding of violence against women and domestic violence and focusing on the human rights and safety of victims, as well as on their empowerment and economic independence.

Such structures for co-ordination and co-operations shall address all forms of violence against women, beyond domestic violence. This includes guidelines and co-operation procedures / protocols for authorities dealing with violence against women, as well as a system for sharing expertise and experience in handling such cases, such as the MARAM. GREVIO strongly encourages the inclusion of specialist women's support services run by NGOs in any formal and informal co-operation structures. Work on MARAM kick started through a project entitled Full Cooperation: Zero Violence.

Given that the Human Rights Directorate assumed the function of National Rapporteur on the implimentation of the Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, the Commission for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence and the Human Rights Initiatives Unit have joined forces to formalise guidelines on human trafficking and identify ways through which the two can assist one another on addressing GREVIO's recommended for formalised multiagency ​guidelines for all forms of violence against women.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

The Human Rights Initiatives Unit attended a discussion forum organised by the OSCE in Malta in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade (MFET), on the prevention of trafficking for labour exploitation in supply chains with a special focus on the role of the government, private sector and current legislative developments in the EU and globally. 

Practitioners and experts from the OSCE and Malta were invited to contribute to the exchange of views and experiences on the topic in view of the identification of areas for action that may enrich the further dialogue on the topic.

Council of Europe MENA Regional Office in Tunisia

The Council of Europe MENA Region Simulation, conducted for the first time at the regional level, focused on combatting trafficking in human beings in migrant roads. Each of these simulations covered a specific theme with relevant training. 

The regional simulation involved all national and international stakeholders on combatting trafficking in human beings from the 15 participating countries, including Malta, a troupe of actors playing the role of the alleged victims and a group of experts (focal points) in charge of managing the simulation and of evaluating the work of professionals.

Hon Rebecca Buttigieg, Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality at the Ministry for Home Affairs, Security, Reforms and Equality had addressed the audience with a video-message. She emphasised that “Malta takes the crime of human trafficking very seriously, making it a key priority for our country.

As Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality, of which human trafficking falls under my responsibility, Malta continues to participate in the fight against the trafficking of individuals focusing primarily on tackling the issues related to migratory roads located in the southern Mediterranean region.”

International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD)

The Human Rights Directorate and the Anti-Human Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee were invited to the launch of the Learning Management System of the Training Institute on Migration Capacity Partnership for the Mediterranean on 18th October at MUZA Valletta. The event was organized by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade (MFET).

National and Transnational Collaborations

The unit closely collaborates with other government ministries through their relevant Programme Development and Programme Implementation (PDPI) offices and associated entities as part of its national and international efforts to coordinate actions and measures on human trafficking. The Unit recently held events in connection with the Blue Heart Campaign, and they used the occasion to talk about the components of crime and the ways that Ministries may work together to eliminate it and offer the best support and protection to victims. Through these gatherings, discussions of a transnational nature were also held with the participation of diplomats from embassies based in Malta and guest speakers from the UNODC and GRETA. More information may be obtained here​.