Women Ministry formulates five initiatives to protect human trafficking victims

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Women, Family and Community Development Ministry has drafted five new initiatives for implementation this year to protect and look after the welfare of human trafficking victims.

Ministry Strategic Planning and Policy Division, Women Policy and Gender Unit assistant secretary Ajanis Ba’i said the five initiatives encompassed a training module for protection officers, creating an intervention model in shelters and boosting communication services for victims and families.

"Other initiatives include allowing mothers and children who are rescued together to be housed in the same shelter compared to before which allowed only children under 12 years old to be placed in the same shelter with the mother.

"In addition, plans are underway to create shelters in Sarawak, ’’ she said when appearing on the Bual Bicara talk show to discuss the topic "KPWKM (The ministry's) Initiatives and Policies in Protecting Human Trafficking Victims” aired by Bernama Radio here, on Tuesday (May 11).

The initiatives were continuations from various initiatives and directions implemented last year by the ministry which heads the Human Trafficking Victims Care and Protection Committee (JPPMPO) in the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Mapo), she said.

Ajanis said among the initiatives implemented last year were coordinating guidelines related to protection with enforcement, allowing victims housed in shelters to wear their own clothes and separating the victims based on the Interim Protection Order and the Protection Order at separate shelters.

In helping human trafficking victims, Ajanis said the ministry always endeavoured to provide the best services based on a victim-centric approach that stresses the needs and well-being of the victims and a trauma-informed approach that took into consideration the psychological and emotional condition of the victims.

"In short, it takes into consideration safety, reliability and transparency, support, empowerment and choice and a culture which stresses on agreement with the victims.

"Matters linked to the victims must be to the knowledge and consent of the victims, ’’ she said.

In the meantime, Ajanis said the ministry also provided several intervention services and programmes for the victims of human traffickings including free health and treatment service, counselling service, legal and court matters as well as permission to work for those who passed the conditions set.

In addition, she said the ministry also co-operated with various non-government organisations (NGOs) to protect and look after the welfare of human trafficking victims involving medical, counselling and interpreter services.

"I wish to stress that the crime of human trafficking is an issue which transcends the responsibility of various quarters, be it government, private sector, NGO or anybody out there.

"As such, the concept of ‘whole of nation, whole of government and whole of society’, must be appreciated together.

"For the ministry, we are committed to the affairs of care and protection of human trafficking victims because it involves a praiseworthy effort in looking after the welfare of the victims and ensuring our country is seen as efficient in combating human trafficking, ’’ Ajanis added.-Bernama

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