Human Trafficking in Malta: Sex Tourists We Don’t Want You

Europe is a wonderful destination for tourists, with great scenery and history all around. Malta is located on an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea and is one of Europe’s smallest countries. It is rich in history and has been an important naval base for many civilisations. These include: the Phoenicians, Romans, Moors, Sicilians, Spanish and British; to name just a few. Malta gained its independence from the British in 1964 and became a republic in 1974.

Malta has come to the world’s attention for all the wrong reasons lately, with a US State Department report listing the small country as a hotspot for human trafficking. The trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation to be precise. Although, the number of human trafficking prosecutions are not large by world standards, Malta only has a population of under half a million people. Media reports within the country, have also pointed to the likely assumption that the numbers involved in sex trafficking are considerably larger than those identifying who have been caught in the act. Trafficking for the purposes of slave labour has also been found to occur within the nation, as two Chinese men were discovered as victims of this type of trafficking.

Human Trafficking in Malta: Sex Tourists We Don’t Want You

The United States has criticised Malta for its lax laws and police corruption in regard to human trafficking on the island. Greater interaction with international anti-trafficking organisations has been recommended. Along with increased scrutiny of vulnerable communities and harsher penalties for those who are successfully prosecuted for human trafficking in Malta. The US State Department report finds that there have been modest improvements in Malta’s criminal code prescribed punishments, but more could be done.

Increased funding for anti-trafficking activities by the Maltese authorities has led to more training for over one hundred professionals to combat the nefarious trade. Government inspections of clubs and massage parlours have increased and these have resulted in detections of trafficking for sexual exploitation. A media campaign involving government anti-trafficking announcements on television and radio has been confirmed to run shortly. There has been no crack down on the commercial sex industry as a whole. Erotic massage and brothels are widely available on the island. There is speculation that Malta may be a sex tourism haven for economic reasons and that this is why it maintains a lax attitude toward commercial sex acts in general. Human trafficking preys on poverty and institutional corruption to achieve its vile aims. Sunny Malta has a shadow side, which is not as visible to many of the tourists who visit it for holidays of a more wholesome nature.