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Foreign victims who decided to assist police in prosecuting trafficking cases were entitled to a temporary residence permit, police protection, legal assistance, and the right to work.The government provided these entitlements to both trafficking victims identified during the reporting period.Malta prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through article 248A-G of the criminal code, which prescribes penalties of four to 12 years’ imprisonment.These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.Forced labor victims largely originate from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam.Women from Southeast Asia working as domestic workers, Chinese nationals working in massage parlors, and women from Central and Eastern Europe working in nightclubs represent populations vulnerable to exploitation.During the reporting period, the government provided trafficking victims with shelter and services and funded training for police officers, community center employees, and diplomats; in addition, its inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee continued to implement the national action plan.

The Government of Malta does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.The government conducted two investigations and initiated two prosecutions during the reporting period, demonstrating a decrease from the previous reporting period, when the government conducted five investigations and initiated seven prosecutions.Both prosecutions remained pending at the close of the reporting period.The appeal of a 2012 conviction of a police officer for alleged involvement with the trafficker remained pending.The government did not report any new investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in human trafficking offences.

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