Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Malaysian Government Takes Action to Stop Trafficking

A Malaysian policeman checks passports of migrant workers

By Farrah Naz Karim

From NST Online:

The Government will try to help Malaysian victims of human trafficking in prisons abroad by taking up their cases with foreign governments. Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said this would be done if it could be ascertained that any of the 57 Malaysians in such circumstances were victims of the crime. He said probes will be conducted to determine the background to their cases.

He said it was also possible that women in this group were duped into serving as drug mules by human trafficking syndicates.

“We will investigate their cases to see if they have any relations with human trafficking. We have notified our foreign missions to check if these women were used by syndicates to smuggle drugs in return for money,” he said. "Those under arrest or serving time abroad were mostly young and educated females who could have been duped by promises of high-paying jobs."

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a pilot course for the Asean Awareness Training for Judges and Prosecutors on Criminal Justice Responses to Trafficking in Persons here, Syed Hamid said Malaysia faced a problem of distinguishing between trafficked persons and illegal immigrants as well as those involved in self-trafficking in the matter.

This, he said, was evident with many foreigners, especially women claiming to be victims of trafficking, picked up during vice raids here.

Syed Hamid said that since the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007 came into effect last month, some 33 victims of human trafficking had been rescued.

They have been placed at two shelters gazetted for such purposes run by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

He said the police, immigration department and People’s Voluntary Corp had been directed to conduct more raids in the move to identify victims of human trafficking in the country.

“This is a new form of human slavery and the people involved in this activity must be dealt with seriously,” he said, adding that the government would also come down hard on employers who sourced for cheap labour illegally as this was among factors that promoted trafficking in humans.

Read the full article

No comments:

Post a Comment