di People for Change Foundation
MALTA – As affirmed by the 2018 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2018 (US TIP Report), the government anti-trafficking budget stood at 35,000 euros. This is an increase from the previous years, whereby despite the recognised shortcomings in the legal and policy frameworks in combatting human trafficking, the budget stood at 20,000 euros for the three consecutive years (2017, 2016, and 2015). Moreover, in 2015, the anti-trafficking budget was halved (from 40,000 euros in 2014) despite the evaluations of the 2015 US TIP Report that in fact more money, not less, should be put towards the fight against trafficking. From the information available on the anti-trafficking budget in other years, it can be observed that the drastic decrease in budget in 2015 was not an isolated event. In 2011 and 2012, the anti-trafficking budget in Malta stood at around 110,000 and 165,000 respectively which shows an increase. However, the budget then saw a dramatic drop to approximately 52,400 euros for 2013, 40,000 in 2014 and half that in 2015. It is noteworthy that the antitrafficking budget used to be significantly higher, although this budget does not include funding allocated for agencies providing victim support as this is covered by other funding, not specific to victims of trafficking which indicates that resources from other budgets are used in the context of measures to address human trafficking. Nevertheless, the increase in budget this year is a welcome step forward and reflects a renewed impetus on combatting human trafficking, especially when considered in conjunction with other developments, such as further training for stakeholders.