Human trafficking victims can seek help via ‘Chatbox MAPO’

Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin. -The Star filepic

PUTRAJAYA: Assuring victims of human trafficking that they will be rescued and protected, a system is in place for victims to alert and seek the help of the authorities.

Known as Chatbox MAPO, the system acts as a medium of interaction between victims and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Council (Mapo).

With six languages available - Bahasa Malaysia, English, Indonesian, Burmese, Nepali and Bengali - the system is user-friendly, can be reached 24/7 and provides a swift response to the user.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said with this platform now available to victims of human trafficking, it is hoped that more will come forward to report such incidents.

“The Ministry gives its assurance that victims will not only be rescued but will also be protected,” he said at the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons celebration on Friday (July 30).

At the virtual event, Hamzah also said that the government is mulling over increased penalties against human traffickers.

He said the ministry wants to propose life imprisonment against convicted offenders.

“Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavey where around the world, its millions of victims are denied their freedom, dignity and their basic human rights,” he said.

Based on statistics, 1,854 cases involving 10,463 victims were recorded in Malaysia since 2015.

Of this, 70% of victims of human trafficking activities involved women and children, Hamzah noted.

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