KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 (Bernama) – The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) has made eight recommendations to provide better protection to victims of human trafficking and smuggling.
In a statement in the capital, Friday, SUHAKAM chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam said the eight recommendations are:
- Urging the government to enhance the prosecution mechanism on offenders, protect victims and prevent new cases of trafficking in collaboration with civil society groups, diplomatic missions, regional and international stakeholders;
- Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should provide a channel to offer their expertise to the Council For Anti-Trafficking In Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (CFATIP) as many victims are more likely to get their services;
- All victims should be provided with immediate medical examination on arrival at the shelters and visited regularly by medical personnel;
- Victims should be informed of the status of their cases and a special court set up to expedite disposal of cases related to anti-human trafficking.
- Government should provide intensive training to enhance skills of law enforcement officers at the frontline on how to identify suspected victims of human trafficking.
- The government should amend the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007 (ATIP) to allow victims to receive compensation and work pending resolution of their cases; gazette NGO-run shelters, provide better explanation of cases of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants namely Sections 12 and 13 under ATIP; well as clarify the role of SUHAKAM and its membership in CFATIP;
- Urge the government to review Section 2 (1) of the Employment Act 1955 that allow ‘contractor for labour’ which could result in exploitation of workers by recruitment agencies and employers; and
- The government should join the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families and the convention relating to the status of refugees.
SUHAKAM expressed concern that for the fourth year running, Malaysia was placed in Tier 2 of the watch list by US Department of State in the Anti-Trafficking In Persons (ATIP) Report 2013.
The reason cited was Malaysia’s failure to fully comply with the minimum standards for combating human trafficking under the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act 2000 (TVPA).