Home > News > Nation
Monday June 30, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday June 30, 2014 MYT 11:39:27 AM
by neville spykerman
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia identified 650 human trafficking victims last year but only nine traffickers were caught and convicted.
This is among the main reasons why the country has dropped to Tier 3 in the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) 2014 report – the lowest ranking, leaving it in the same category as Thailand, Venezuela, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe.
Malaysia must now work on closing the gap between the number of victims and the number of people brought to justice, according to US State Department ambassador-at-large Luis CdeBaca (pic).
The 2014 TiP report states that Malaysia decreased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and reported fewer investigations and convictions in 2013 as compared with 2012.
CdeBaca, who heads the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said the treatment of victims was also critical.
“It is well known that if you treat your victims correctly, they will be good witnesses for you in court,” CdeBaca told The Star in a phone interview from Washington.
He said this included providing psychological care and feeling of safety for victims.
CdeBaca also urged Malaysia to provide better support for non-government organisations (NGOs) involved in helping human trafficking victims.
“Countries which engage strongly with civil society in the fight against human trafficking end up being most successful,” he said.
He pointed out that NGOs were unlikely to refer cases to authorities if victims are kept in detention centres and deported.
Citing cases of victims who were were held in shelters for almost a year, he said: “There is no freedom of movement.
“They have not been convicted of anything but are still behind gates and barbed wire.”
However, CdeBaca acknowledged that there have been improvements since 2009.
He said Malaysia had dedicated officials fighting human trafficking and the drop from Tier 2 was not a denigration of those on the front lines.
He said the TiP report, published since 2001, is based on the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2002, which is calibrated to the Palermo Protocol.
“This is the United Nations anti-human trafficking treaty which most countries have signed,” he said.
He also denied criticism that close allies of the United States would never fall to the Tier 3 category.
“One only needs to look at the downgrades this year of Colombia, Qatar, Malaysia and Thailand to recognise that the US is not afraid to tell the truth about the trafficking situation.
“I think there is a responsibility to tell your friends when there is a problem and work with them in partnership to try to address that,” he said.
Wan Junaidi: We'll see what to adopt from TiP report
75 foreigners nabbed in anti-vice raid on club
Use return-home service, Indonesians told
NGOs mixed over action on rescued victims
Tags / Keywords:
Government, Nation, Interview with Amb CdeBaca from state dept on TIP report
Malaysia downgraded in United States' annual Trafficking in Persons report
Wisma Putra: Malaysia’s poor ranking in trafficking report is unfair
Not letting children out of sight
The roar of the Tiger
Marrying for money
Community also reminded to adhere strictly to the Quran and Sunnah
Facebook puppy love turns deadly
SMEs need higher soft loans to revive business
Firefly to increase JB-Ipoh flights from Nov 1
‘MH370 in southern Indian Ocean’
Muhdalena who escaped after giving birth caught 211km away
Need to be sure your chocolate's pork free? You want the 'Halal Test' kit
Malay Folk Stories stamps to be launched on Monday
Copyright © 1995-2014 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)