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Improved human trafficking ratings shows Malaysia on right track: Zahid

July 28, 2015
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Improved human trafficking ratings shows Malaysia on right track: Zahid

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s improve rating on human trafficking shows the affirmation of the country’s efforts to address the issue said Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today.

He said among the efforts made to tackle the crime of human trafficking included the setting up of high level committee (HLC) on July 3 last year to deliberate on ways to effectively address the matter at hand.

“The amendments made to the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007 which have been passed by Dewan Rakyat on Jun 16 and Dewan Negara on July 7, the HLC will be a permanent mechanism as the highest committee in making policies to address such crimes,” he said in a statement.

Zahid added the key amendment to ATIPSOM 2007 was to improve the caring aspect given to human trafficking victims namely giving them the freedom to stay outside shelters as well as secure jobs.

Other efforts to bolster efforts in addressing human trafficking issues included getting more non-governmental organisations as well as private sector onboard, he said.

The strengthening of the Anti Human Trafficking Council (MAPO), he added, with new members from various ministries namely defence; health; plantation industries and commodities; international trade and industry as well as sports and youth had also contributed to efforts to fight the crimes of human trafficking.

On Monday, the US State Department said that while Malaysia does not fully meet minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, it was making significant efforts to do so, citing a proposed strengthening of anti-trafficking laws and a more than doubling in trafficking investigations.

Zahid said the government was also aware of the significant to secure better rating especially in the country’s involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Malaysia’s expected upgrade to “Tier 2 Watch List” status from Tier 3 will remove a potential barrier to President Barack Obama’s signature 12-nation Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP.

The US Congress had approved legislation in June giving Obama expanded trade negotiating powers but prohibiting deals with Tier 3 countries such as Malaysia.

– http://www.nst.com.my

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