Atipsom (Amendment) Act 2022 to come into effect on Tuesday (Feb 22), says Hamzah

KUALA LUMPUR: The Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Act 2022 (Act A1644) will come into effect on Tuesday (Feb 22) after receiving the King’s assent on Jan 19.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said Act A1644, which was included in the Official Gazette on Jan 25, is hoped to provide the best solution in Malaysia’s efforts to curb human trafficking and smuggling of migrants more effectively.

He said the amendment was the country’s main legal instrument in facing the modern slavery issue and to curb human trafficking and smuggling of migrants in Malaysia.

"In an effort to increase the effectiveness of preventing the two stated crimes, an amendment to the Act has been implemented to strengthen the related provisions.

"Overall, there are 19 provisions amended with improvements involving amendments to the definition of human trafficking and repealing the definition of coercion as well as increasing jail sentence and the introduction of whipping,” he said in a statement on Monday (Feb 21).

He said other amendments were related to the provisions of more serious offences, including those involving civil servants and the creation of ministerial powers in the appointment of any civil servant under Act 670.

Hamzah also said that amendments included the inclusion of members from other organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants.

The expansion of the role of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry in the management and control of protective officers and shelters for human trafficking victims were included in the amendments, he added.

He said a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach was used and was confident that it would improve Malaysia’s standings in any international evaluation and boost the country’s image globally.

"All Malaysians are urged to come together and help the government curb such crimes by reporting any information through Chatbot at the council’s Facebook account, or email or call 03-8000 8000,” he said.

Bernama reported last December that the Dewan Negara passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Amendment) Bill 2021.

The Bill aimed to ensure that the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (Act 670) was in line with the requirements of the Palermo Protocol and the Asean Convention Against Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). - Bernama

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