Trafficking in persons report: Looking beyond the rankings — Joseph M Paul

Source: FMT

BY JOSEPH M PAUL

Ranked on Tier 2 of the TIP Report, Malaysia has yet to “demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period”.

The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which is issued annually by the US State Department’s Office ranks governments based on US perceptions of their efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking.

The TIP report gives an indication of the state of human trafficking in the country and the government’s efforts in combating it. The rankings are sometimes controversial, with allegations that political and trade considerations influence the ranking that is accorded to a country. For example, in 2015 when Malaysia’s ranking went up one notch from Tier 3 (the worst case) to Tier 2 in the Watch List, many viewed it as a concession by the US government to enable Malaysia to become party to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.

While the rankings may be subjective and susceptible to influence by trade and political considerations, it is worthwhile to study the contents of the report (which are more factual) to obtain an indication of the areas where improvements are needed.

The TIP report 2016 states quite bluntly that “the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period”. The key areas of concern highlighted in the TIP report are as follows: Read more