KUALA LUMPUR – The government has taken note of the U.S. Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2018 issued by the US State Department and is committed to eradicate the crime.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin said the review covered prevention, prosecution and protection conducted on 187 countries including Malaysia now placed in Tier 2 Watchlist for 2018.
“Malaysia has been on Tier 2 Watchlist nine times between 2006 and 2018. The report also stated that Malaysia did not meet the minimum standard in the eradication human trafficking,” he said in a statement today.
In this regard, Muhyiddin said the government would be toughening up efforts to eliminate the crime by taking measures to prevent human trafficking through close cooperation with non-governmental organisations and the industry as well as stepping up integrated actions with other agencies.
He said the ministry would continue to make significant improvements in two aspects involving labour laws namely the implementation of levy on foreign labour by employers starting from January 1 this year.
Apart from that, he said increased penalty would be provided via amendment to the Private Employment Agencies Act on employment agencies which failed to comply with labour laws.
“(Government) is considering a proposal to amend the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 to give focus to protection of human trafficking victims while prevention would see heavier punishment imposed,” he said in a statement today.
Apart from that, Muhyiddin said the implementation of regulations to allow free movement and employment for victims of human trafficking would be improved apart from more thorough management of foreign workers holistically to ensure the welfare and rights of foreign workers could be protected.
Besides, he said the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO) led by his ministry had implemented continuous improvements to eradicate human trafficking as proposed by the US State Departrment in its previous year’s evaluation.
According to him, the evaluation can be used as a guide to improve the country’s initiative in eradicating human trafficking in future. – BERNAMA