The Ethical Maldives Alliance advocates the consideration of ethical issues when choosing how and where to spend your money. When choosing to holiday in the Maldives, we urge travellers to carefully consider their choice of resort and business, avoiding those that directly or indirectly contribute towards abuse of ethical issues.
Maldives is well known for its natural beauty. However, unknown to many, like there is a darker side to everything, Maldives has its darker side too, a side we keep on turning a blind eye. With a long and sad history of corruption, political oppression and human rights abuses, Maldives’ first attempts at democratic reform are now faltering with the return of efforts to rebuild an autocracy that seeks to reverse the modest achievements won with great pain and effort. Crime is on the rise as a result of support for extreme gangs on the pretext of “supporting youth.” These gangs, actively supported by the Police, have become the thugs that work to suppress any dissent.
Although claiming to support “sustainable tourism”, there are growing piles of rubbish with unprocessed waste being dumped in the sea. Although shark fishing has been banned and turtles are protected, these practices continue with little, if anything being done to prevent these abuses. Uncontrolled corruption starting at the very top of all branches of government filters down through all levels of society, making life very difficult for the average Maldivian. Ill-treatment of foreign and local workers by unscrupulous employers and corrupt officials has now become the norm.
Ethical Maldives evaluates resorts and other businesses on ethics-based criteria. These include owners’ support for governments that perpetuate corruption, intimidation and oppression, measures relevant to the environment and social responsibility. Visitors with concerns and interest in these issues can then decide if the businesses deserve their support.
Income from tourism provides the bulk of support to government. Avoiding resorts and businesses whose owners help maintain oppression and impunity, while continuing to visit other resorts in Maldives, is a win-win-win solution:
- a painless way of supporting ethical reform,
- while enjoying a holiday,
- while supporting the economy.
The Ethical Maldives website and list of businesses to avoid is a first step in that direction.
We urge all visitors to browse our website and consult our list before booking their holidays. The list ranks resorts and businesses based on their owners’ support for unethical practices.
Enjoy your holiday with a clear conscience, knowing you have helped the people of the Maldives.