Malaysia upgraded to Tier 2 in 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report

Key achievements lead to Malaysia's upgrade in Trafficking in Persons Report

25 Jun 2024 11:50am
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF

PUTRAJAYA - Malaysia has been upgraded to Tier 2 in the 2024 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report issued by the United States Department of State yesterday.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) welcomed this positive development.

"This upgrade is highly significant as Malaysia was ranked at Tier 2 Watchlist in 2023, and the last time the country was at Tier 2 was in 2017,” the statement said.

The ministry said this success resulted from efforts by various stakeholders who have made meaningful and continuous contributions to advancing the agenda of combating human trafficking in Malaysia.

Among the significant achievements recorded are the increased number of investigations, convictions with significant sentences, awareness programmes and prosecution of allegedly complicit officials.

The government also convicted significantly more labour traffickers than in the prior year, increased funding for victim shelters, and facilitated more freedom of movement passes for victims receiving services in government and NGO-run shelters.

"The report also outlines 16 improvement recommendations and action plans that Malaysia can implement for the next evaluation year, from April 1, 2024 until March 31, 2025,” according to KDN.

It added that the report recorded a new recommendation, namely providing victim-centred services to all without requiring their participation in criminal proceedings.

"Three main focuses have been planned to guide the implementation of the country’s efforts, namely enhancing inter-agency cooperation, intensifying efforts to identify and protect victims, and improving prosecution processes,” it said.

The ministry also said that the KDN-led Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO), along with ministries and government agencies, is committed to taking action in combating human trafficking crimes in Malaysia, including addressing new trends involving job scams and incidents of neglected workers.

"Efforts to end human trafficking require close cooperation among various stakeholders,” it said.

It further said that KDN and MAPO are open to collaborating with NGOs, civil society organisations, international organisations, foreign diplomatic representatives, academics, and employers to address this issue comprehensively.

"This commitment is hoped to yield significant initiatives based on the pillars of law, enforcement, protection and prevention across the functions of stakeholders, which can enhance efforts to combat human trafficking crimes in Malaysia,” the statement said. - BERNAMA