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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Govt committed to combating human trafficking

 


The country remains committed in its efforts to address and combat human trafficking despite its downgrade to Tier 3 in this year’s US State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Mohamad Fauzi Md Isa said that the report served as a wake-up call for the ministry and all relevant parties concerned to do better, refocus and reprioritise their actions in fighting against human trafficking crimes.

“Sadly, Malaysia did not fare very well in the recent TIP report. But this should not hamper our spirit to do better in the next reporting period as our commitment to fight this crime remains exalted,” he said during an online launch of the Anti Trafficking Capacity Building for Impact (CBI) programme with US Ambassador to Malaysia Brian D McFeeters, in Kuala Lumpur today.

Fauzi said as the Covid-19 pandemic had worsened the situation of human trafficking, exposing vulnerable groups to further exploitation, cooperation between all stakeholders including civil society organisations (CSO) and NGOs become even more important in fighting human trafficking.

The 18-month programme is organised by NGOs Engender Consultancy and Project Liber8. It aims to develop a stronger network of organisations through collective learning and action that will act as a catalyst to accelerate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking in Persons 2021-2025 (NAPTIP 3.0) which was launched in March.

It also aims to mobilise a whole-of-nation approach to combat trafficking in persons.

The programme, supported by the US Embassy, will include a series of 20 national training workshops and advocacy consultations for anti-trafficking organisations and activists.

The workshops will cover the 4Ps of human trafficking – prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships – with the first session on the prevention of human trafficking scheduled for Aug 5.

The programme modules include skills training on strategic advocacy for legislative change, monitoring and reporting of TIP issues, as well as victim identification and assistance.

The programme will also include public outreach events in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Kota Kinabalu to build grassroots awareness on trafficking in persons (TIP), inculcate a more empathetic understanding of TIP-related issues, and spur the public to appropriate collective response.

Meanwhile, McFeeters said the US is committed to its partnership with Malaysia to support a whole of society approach in combating trafficking that involves government and local organisations.

It is also ready to share its experience and lesson learnt in the US in combating human trafficking, he added.

He said a number of cases in the US showed that a strong network of CSOs working closely with law enforcement professionals and prosecutors was successful in combating human trafficking.

- Bernama 

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