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Malaysia: Suhakam to train officials on human trafficking

Graphic: Suhakam Chairperson, Tan Sri Hasmy Agam

Immigration Department and Home Ministry officers will soon receive training on how to assist smuggled persons and victims of trafficking.

Immigration Department and Home Ministry officers will soon receive training on how to assist smuggled persons and victims of trafficking.

The Malaysian Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) has identified 30 to 50 officers to be trained monthly, who will be equipped with skills in interviewing, communicating and counselling.

These skills would enable them to differentiate between a genuine victim of trafficking and those who entered the country illegally, said Suhakam Chairperson Tan Sri Hasmy Agam.

"There must be a clear distinction between a smuggled and trafficked person. Officials must be properly trained to distinguish between a victim and someone flouting immigration laws," he said.

Hasmy said that training was necessary if the government intends to incorporate the smuggling of migrants in amendments to the Anti-Trafficking Act 2007.

"We are concerned about the amendments and will be meeting the Home Ministry," he said.

"The authorities say when people come in as migrant labour and get caught, they pretend they've been duped or lured into being trafficked.

"From our perspective, there should be a clear distinction. What happens to the people who are really duped? What about their interests and protection?"

Earlier, the Suhakam Chairperson launched the anti-trafficking in persons pamphlet, available in English and Bahasa Malaysia.

He said the pamphlet aimed to spread awareness of trafficking in persons to the public, potential victims and victims.

Hasmy said the pamphlet will be translated into various Asian languages and distributed to NGOs in Malaysia and ASEAN countries, foreign embassies, government departments, airports and courthouses.

Date: 29 September 2010

Source: The Star Online

Image credits

  1. Suhakam Chairperson, Tan Sri Hasmy Agam - APF/James Iliffe