HUMAN trafficking is a global problem and an ‘industry’ valued at US$39bil globally, said National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO) Penang vice-chairman Marlene Fox.
“It is an incredibly well-organised industry and affects men, women and children.
“For the career criminal, it is a potential source of revenue which cannot be ignored.
“Human trafficking is perpetrated by international syndicates and defined as ‘the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receiving people by means of threat or force for the purposes of exploitation’.
“Law enforcement agencies call it ‘modern day slavery’,” she told a press conference on the announcement of a seminar on ‘Human Trafficking: Raising Awareness, Then What Next?’ in Komtar on Tuesday.
Fox said worldwide statistics show that about 68% of people trafficked were forced into prostitution, 26% into forced labour and 6% into begging or other kinds of sex industries.
She added that the one-day seminar, which is organised by NCWO Penang, will be held at the Methodist Boys’ School in Jalan Air Itam, Penang, on Sept 30.
“There will be an ‘Introduction to Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants’ by the Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign (STOP) folowed by an ‘Introduction to the Concept’ by the Federation of Women’s Lawyers, North Malaysia.
“The other speakers in these sessions are represen-tatives from the Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti-Migrant Smuggling Council (Mapo), Royal Malaysian Police and Immigration Department of Malaysia,” she said.
Fox said there would also be talks by trafficked survivors and an interactive discussion among panellists from Mapo, STOP, Tenaganita and Suhakam (Human Rights Commission of Malaysia).
NCWO Penang chairman Yeap Meng Chee said it was everybody’s responsibility to eradicate human trafficking.
Those who are keen to attend the event, please register by calling 04-2298355 (Nancy)/012-3046301 (Yeap)/016-4879850 (See) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Closing date is Sept 19.
Registration fees are RM20 for adults and RM15 for affiliates and students.
Also present were state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh, NCWO Penang secretary Katherine Ong and NCWO Penang committee member Molly Mark.