Friday, August 28, 2009

Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2007 To Be Amended

Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2007 To Be Amended

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 (Bernama) -- The Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) is proposing to the Attorney-General's Chambers to focus on enhancing the expertise of the police on several matters related to the trafficking of humans.

Suhakam commissioner Datuk Dr Raj Abdul Karim said two weaknesses in the police identified by the commission were in identifying victims and in the repatriation of victims.

Dr Raj said these had to be improved urgently to eradicate cases of human trafficking in the country as well as ensuring that victims were not treated as offenders.

"We need to look back to the Anti-Human Traficking Act in Malaysia because there are some loop holes and there are some areas that we need to strengthen," Dr Raj said.

She added that it is important to have a good screening and identification system in order to differentiate, during a raid on certain entertainment outlets, whether those detained should be considered as victim of human trafficking or were voluntary.

Dr Raj said this to reporters at a news conference at the National Human Rights Institute (NHRI)'s ASEAN Protocol Development Workshop on the Trafficking of Women and Children here Wednesday.

Dr Raj stressed that training to enhance related skills need not be limited to police personnel but should also involve other enforcement agencies like Customs, Immigration, martime agencies and also Rela.

"Members of enforcement agencies need to know the way to treat a victim, never to treat them as offenders. They should be more careful in asking questions and managing victims.

"Such training is very important. They must not be angry, if you are angry and fierce no one will give answers and cooperation or useful information. As such the police need to be properly trained and provide good protection," she said.

Dr Raj said Suhakam also wanted the Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2007 to be tidied up to ensure the process of repatriation was orderly.

"This is because the sending back process is not proper as there is no physical and mental preparation," she clarified.

"Besides that the existing act only allows a victim holding centre to be mamaged by the government but we want non-governmenal organisations to also run them," Dr Raj added.

Right now Malaysia has only three holding centre, two in Kuala Lumpur and one in Sabah.

The Anti-Human Trafficking Act 2007 is presently being reviewed by the AG's Chambers to make some changes to it.

Asked about the conclusion of the two-day workshop, Dr Raj said representatives of the NHRIs from Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand unanimously voiced their desire to step up efforts to handle the issue of trafficking in women and children collectively by disseminating information to the public.


No comments: