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US Ready To Help Malaysia Improve Human Trafficking Rankings

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KUALA LUMPUR – The United States (US) is ready to help Malaysia further improve its rankings in the US State Department’s annual human trafficking report, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

He said the US could impart its expertise through, for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other relevant agencies to assist Malaysian authorities in gathering evidence relating to human trafficking cases towards having more prosecutions and convictions.

“We want to see an end to impunity for such crimes,” he told the media here today on the sidelines of a series of ASEAN-related meetings from Aug 1 to 6, organised in conjunction with the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting.

According to Kerry, Malaysia would have time to enhance human trafficking investigations and prosecutions, before the release of the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report next year.

To a question, Kerry said Malaysia’s upgrade to Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 3 in the report was not made so that it could join the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

Kerry explained that the upgrade was solely based on improvements on anti-human trafficking efforts undertaken by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration.

The US secretary of state said he took note of Malaysia’s intensive measures to combat human trafficking in 2014, such as passing new laws, increasing investigations and starting a victims’ protection pilot project.

“Let me be crystal clear. I was the person who approved this (TIP report) and I didn’t have any conversation with (Najib’s) administration prior to the process.

“The decision was based solely on the recommendations of my team,” he said..

On his meeting with Najib in Putrajaya yesterday, Kerry said they discussed potential negotiation to wrap-up the TPP and efforts to combat extremism.

The TPP negotiation, which involves 12 countries, has been going on for more than five years. – BERNAMA

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