KUALA LUMPUR: The fight against human trafficking will literally take to the skies with airline cabin crew being trained to spot possible victims.
“They can be our eyes and ears,” said Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (pic), adding that the cabin crew and ground crew would be trained to identify possible victims of human trafficking and alert the authorities.
“This is one of our steps to combat the ever-growing threat of human trafficking,” he told a press conference at Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation yesterday.
The training would be done by Anti-Human Trafficking and Anti-Migrant Smuggling Council (Mapo), starting with Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air in the first quarter of next year.
“They will be trained to ask relevant questions and look at the body language,” said Nur Jazlan.
Earlier, he gave a speech at the university’s “Walk the Talk –Stop Trafficking Women and Girls” campaign that was organised by Soroptimist International Malaysia.
He said the Government was going all out to tackle the issue of human trafficking with enforcement and rescue efforts.
“So far this year, we have identified 1,086 victims, 177 of them in November alone.”
“Last year the number was over 3,000, with a majority of them women who were forced into prostitution,” he said.
The Government, together with NGOs, has built 10 shelters for the victims, he said, adding that many cases go unreported.
“We have convicted 33 people last year on 100 charges. This year the number of convictions has gone from 100 to 116,” he said.
Nur Jazlan said human trafficking was also a domestic issue with Malaysians being forced into labour or prostitution by other locals.
Dispelling the assumption that human trafficking involved just foreigners being brought into the country, he explained that husbands who forced their wives, or mothers pushing their daughters into the sex trade, was also human trafficking.
“We have to be vigilant against that as well. The public can play a major role in looking out for possible cases of human trafficking,” he said.