Malaysian Government will continue to protect human rights and safeguard the rights of human trafficking victims.
The upgrading by the United States State Department of Malaysia from “Tier 2 Watch List” to “Tier 2” in its latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report is a recognition on the commitment of the government and the effective concerted effort it has taken in protecting the human rights of people including foreigners who are subject to exploitation and oppression.
The concrete steps taken by the government which resulted in this upgrade is just the beginning of a series of measures that have been planned and implemented to ensure more effective enforcement, prevention and improvement in thr care support given to the victims of human trafficking.
It is important to take recognition that human trafficking will continue to occur where there is abject poverty and lack of employment opportunity in the source countries and also where there is gross violation of human rights of these victims in their own countries. It is erroneous to place blame solely on Malaysia. As along as Malaysia continues to enjoy economic growth each year and create ample jobs Malaysia will be a strong magnet for people from lesser developed nations, especially those that are experiencing civil disorder and slow or lack of economic progress.
Not all foreign labour can be considered as being trafficked Most come voluntarily in search of better opportunities, however some entered Malaysia illegally and therefore are subject to the due process of detention and deportation. Measures have been taken through the implementation and employment of foreign workers to ensure that the rights of foreign workers’ to universally acceptable terms of employment are adhered to by their employers.
These efforts will be complemented by the EAIC (Enforcement Agencies Integrity Commission) which will conduct periodical independent inspections of the conditions of detention centres and shelters. Any abuses which are reported will also be investigated independently by the EAIC.
The Malaysian government will continue our efforts to protect human rights and improve our position in future TIP reports.
YB Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department