‘Be My Protector’: Launch of new anti-human trafficking app

Source: TheSunDaily

The launch of the 1st anti-human trafficking app ‘Be My Protector’ here in the CO3 Social Office in Puchong on April 19, 2018. — Sunpix by Zulfadhli Zaki

PETALING JAYA: The fight against human trafficking in the country could be intensified following the launch of the first ever anti-human trafficking mobile application in Southeast Asia.

The app, aptly named “Be My Protector”, is the brainchild of human rights organisations Tenaganita and Change Your World (CYW), and required two years of development leading up to its release.

Describing the launch as a historical moment, Tenaganita director Aegile Fernandez said the app was necessary to allow the public and the victims themselves to have a proper channel to report cases of human trafficking.

“We have enforcement, but that is a different level. That’s when the idea of the app came about. It took us two years of sitting down, brainstorming and testing.

“We could not let the matter just go. I always question why are we the losers in this war against human trafficking? We should be the winners, and today this dream has become a reality,” she said at the launch, here today. Read more

Special Anti-Trafficking in Persons court proof of govt’s commitment to combat human trafficking, says CJ

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif ― Malay Mail pic

KLANG, March 28 — The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Sessions Court established today is proof of the government’s commitment to combat human trafficking and smuggling of migrants into the country, said Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif.

“The Malaysian judiciary is committed to ensuring that trials and the time frame to settle human trafficking cases are expedited. Klang was chosen as the location for the pilot project of the ATIP court in view of Selangor recording the highest number of human trafficking cases in the country,” he said.

By the end of this year, ATIP courts would also be set up in five other locations in stages namely in  Ipoh, Melaka, Muar, Kota Kinabalu and Balik Pulau, he told a media conference after opening the first ATIP court at the Klang Court Complex here today. Read more

Malaysia launches special court for human trafficking

Source: The Malaysian Insight

The first special court for human trafficking is in the Sessions Court complex in Klang. It is set up to spare trafficking victims the ordeal of a lengthy legal process.– The Malaysian Insight pic, March 28, 2018.

MALAYSIA launched its first special court for human trafficking in the Klang Sessions Court complex today.

Chief Justice Raus Sharif said five more will be set up within the year in Ipoh, Penang, Malacca, Muar, and Kota Kinabalu, in that order.

“We selected Klang to be the location for this pioneer project because statistics wise, Selangor has the highest concentration of human trafficking cases registered among all the other states in Malaysia,” said Raus in his speech.

Judge Unaizah Mohd will preside over 12 cases registered in this new court in Klang.

Only senior sessions court judges with at least 25 years of experience in the judicial and legal service are qualified to preside in the special court on human trafficking, he said.

“Previously human trafficking cases were assigned as normal cases to judges. With this specialised court, the judges can concentrate on these cases only. That’s why we’re confident the cases can be disposed of within nine months,” Raus told reporters after the launch. Read more

Malaysian Bar seeks RCI on Perlis death camps, alleged cover-up

Source: The Malay Mail Online

This undated handout photo made available on May 25, 2015 by the Royal Malaysian Police shows an abandoned migrant detention camp used by people-smugglers in a jungle near the Malaysia-Thailand border in Genting Perah. The Malaysian Bar passed a resolution today calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the camps and the alleged cover-up attempt by law enforcement agencies. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — The Malaysian Bar passed a resolution today calling for a Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Perlis “death camps” and the alleged cover-up attempt by law enforcement agencies.

The body also urged the government to implement legal and policy reforms as part of its obligations under international laws against human trafficking, while also demanding the rights of trafficked persons be protected.

The resolution followed a motion to debate at the Bar’s annual general meeting today on a New Straits Times report published last year that alleged collusion on the part of local law enforcement agencies with human trafficking syndicates.

“The Malaysian Bar call upon the government of Malaysia to take all necessary steps to ensure that such tragedies never recur within our borders, including… establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the existence of the mass graves and death camps,” the resolution read. Read more

Police mull getting NGOs to act as middleman with human trafficking victims

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The police said today they will consider roping in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help investigations on human exploitation and trafficking.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim said the suggestion was highlighted by several NGOs because exploited victims sometime feared repercussion from criminal syndicates if they spoke to law enforcement personnel.

“They know better than us because they are civilians and victims are more willing to talk to them.

“We will definitely pursue this matter as they have offered themselves to be the middleman on behalf of the police,” he said after attending an engagement session with NGOs on human trafficking at the federal police headquarters today.

About 60 people from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), the Malaysian Bar, and several human rights NGOs like Suaram and Tenaganita attended the dialogue organised together with the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrant (MAPO) under the Home Ministry. Read more

Four teens tricked into sex trade rescued

Source: The Star

KOTA KINABALU: Four teenage immigrants who came to Sabah with their families in search of work thought they had landed decent jobs – only to be pressed into the sex trade.

The four, three girls and a boy, were rescued after they were detained in a raid on an entertainment outlet at Cybercity near here at 2am on Feb 7.

City police chief Asst Comm M. Chandra said the victims, who worked as guest relations officers, were forced to provide sexual services to clients upon request.

He said the girls are aged 15, 17 and 18, while the boy is 16.

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Malaysia to work with international airlines to curb human trafficking

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (Mapo) will expand its cooperation with international airlines in the fight against human trafficking in the country.

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said this was because human trafficking syndicates found it more convenient to do their work by air than by land and sea.

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MP: Cross-border human trafficking possible due to corruption, systemic weaknesses

Source: Malay Mail Online

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim said that a comprehensive investigation was needed to “weed out the rot” in the country’s immigration system and to mend its ‘broken’ border control. — Pictures by Shafwan Zaidon via Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Feb 2 — The large scale human trafficking camps uncovered in 2015 along the Thai-Malaysia border were only possible due to “systemic corruption” and weak border control, according to federal lawmaker Steven Sim.

Speaking at “Tragedi Wang Kelian: Nerhaka Ciptaan Rasuah” (Wang Kelian Tragedy: Hell Created By Corruption) at the GerakBudaya book store last night, the Bukit Mertajam MP claimed that a combination of foreign worker visa monopolies, illegal worker amnesty and a lack of transparency in addressing the issue has made the matter even worse over time.

The forum was moderated by MBPJ councillor Lim Yi Wei, and with former Malay Mail journalist Arulldas Sinappan and Malaysian Consultative Council of Islam Organisations secretary general Zulhanis Zainol present to relate their experiences on the ground.

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Group: Special court for human-trafficking cases should not be merely to maintain country’s ranking

Source: Malay Mail Online

Lawyer Eric Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa via Malay Mail Online

PETALING JAYA, Jan 19 — Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen lauded the government’s move to set up a special court to deal with human-trafficking cases but cautioned against using it to merely show a high number of prosecutions to reach some Key Performance Index (KPI).

Paulsen said having a specialised court will be effective in clearing a backlog of pending cases related to human trafficking but added that it still however raises some concern.

“Our concern is how genuine will the implementation of the court be especially at the prosecution side,” he told Malay Mail.

Paulsen cautioned against giving those fighting human trafficking “false hope” by setting up the court simply to raise the country’s ranking internationally.

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Tenaganita: Special court useful in fighting human trafficking

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita has lauded the government’s move to set up a special court focused on human trafficking cases, saying it will be a useful component of Malaysia’s strategy to combat the problem.

Its executive director, Glorene A Das, however cautioned that the effort would be construed as a public relations exercise if certain important prerequisites were not fulfilled.

She said very often victims of trafficking, most of them foreigners, were reluctant to fight their cases in courts due to the lengthy legal process and lack of support. This problem needed to be addressed.

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