2012 Mar 06
March 6, 2012

600 human traffickers held

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KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia’s cooperation with other countries in stamping out human trafficking is gradually bearing fruit.

On the home front, there is also increasing awareness with many Malaysians coming out to help the authorities, leading to the detention of almost 600 human traffickers nationwide since 2008.

Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Abdul Rahim Mohd Radzi said the country had inked memorandums of understanding to curtail the problem with Australia, Saudi Arabia and Britain.

“We also have MoUs with other partners in the International Organisation for Migration and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,” he said in his speech at an anti-trafficking of persons campaign here yesterday.

Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman launched the campaign, organised by the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO).

Domestically, said Abdul Rahim, great strides had been made to counter human trafficking through tough legislation, enforcement, protection of victims and widespread publicity against the crime.

In Sabah, he said enforcement agencies rescued 21 women from human trafficking syndicates between 2008 and 2011.

He said Filipinos and Indonesians were currently sheltered at a protection home in Likas here.

Musa encouraged more campaigns, such as the one organised by the NCWO, to be held to further raise awareness on human trafficking.

He said such programmes could open the eyes of the public as to their role in helping to solve the problem.

As of Jan 31 last year, national figures show 261 men, 562 women and 118 children were saved and sent to protection homes. –DURIE RAINER FONG, durie@thestar.com.my