Cops to work with NGOs on human trafficking cases

Last Updated on Feb. 20, 2019, 2:49 p.m.

KUALA LUMPUR: Police will work with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to be intermediaries in investigations when dealing with victims of human trafficking and exploitation.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suggestion was highlighted by several NGOs which do extensive work with these victims.

"Sometimes in most cases, these victims are afraid to speak to law enforcement because they are afraid of any legal repercussions or punishments they may face, the middlemen that sent them here will often tell them to keep mum when speaking to enforcement officers," he said.

"These victims are also suffering emotional and physical trauma and these NGOs can help them and also help us by talking to them. They know better than us because they are civilians and victims are more willing to talk to them," he said after he meeting representatives of 12 NGOs dealing with human trafficking at Bukit Aman today.

He said police are definitely going to engage these NGOs and ask them to be intermediaries for these victims.

About 60 people from Suaram, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), The Malaysian Bar and Tenaganita among others attended the dialogue organised together with the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrant (MAPO) under the Home Ministry.

Meanwhile, Federal principal assistant director for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrant (D7C ATIPSOM) SAC Maszely Minhad said forced labour in the plantations and domestic workers make up most trafficking cases reported.

Statistics showed a total of 62 cases were reported up till February this year compared to 410 cases overall last year.

Maszely said previously about 80% of ATIPSOM cases received were related to sexual exploitation but forced labour without wages has increased gradually and now equals the former.

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