Tuesday, August 23, 2011

492 people arrested for human trafficking in Malaysia since 2008 to July 2011

Malaysia is among havens for human trafficking or better known as modern day slavery.

On Tuesday, 23d August 2011, Malaysian media reported that a total of 492 people were arrested in Malaysia for human trafficking between 2008 and July 2011, quoting secretary of the Malaysian anti-human trafficking council (MAPO) Nasirrahman Saad Khiruddin.

Nasirrahman said said 799 victims, mostly Chinese nationals and Filipinos, were rescued during the period.

Most of the victims were brought into the country against their will for the purposes of exploitation, such as forced commercial sex and forced labour and also baby for sale.

On the smuggling of immigrants, he said 14 cases, involving 281 immigrants and 20 arrests, were recorded between November 2011 and July 2011.

Malaysia in recent years has work hard to eradicate and fight human trafficking.

Among measures taken were introducing the Anti Trafficking In Person Act 2007 and enhancing the penalty for human traffickers by way of increasing the jail terms of up to 20 years and stiffer fines which can reach 1 million Ringgit.

Unscrupolous enforcement officers were also caught.

In October 2010, 8 Malaysian Immigration officers were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for alleged involvement in human trafficking in the country.

Malaysian Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammudin Tun Hussein said the arrest was to show the Malaysian people as well as those internationally that the Malaysian government is committed and really serious to fighting human trafficking.

“We are serious in our efforts and we will not tolerate or allow our country being a transit point for syndicates involved in human trafficking,'' Hishammuddin said.

Malaysia and China will also sign a memorandum of understanding, MoU early September 2011 to fight human trafficking and to cooperate on security issues.

The MoU is part of Malaysia's attempt to deal directly with countries of origin, transit and destination for human trafficking, the Home Ministry said.

Human trafficking is the world's worst crime but also most lucrative and is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, second only in terms of ill-goten revenues, to drug trafficking.

The United Nations estimated that 2.5 million people from 127 countries were human trafficking victims in 2010 alone.

In 2004 alone, the total annual revenue for trafficking in persons were estimated to be between USD $5 billion and USD $9 billion.

The crime involves the illegal trade of human beings for the purposes of reproductive slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labour, or a modern-day form of slavery.

The United Nations adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children, in Palermo, Italy in 2000.

The Palermo Protocol is the first global, legally binding instrument on trafficking in over half a century and the only one that sets out an agreed definition of trafficking in persons.

By June 2010, the Trafficking Protocol had been ratified by 117 countries and 137 parties.

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