UN rights expert urges Malaysia to improve efforts against human trafficking News
UN rights expert urges Malaysia to improve efforts against human trafficking

[JURIST] UN human rights expert Maria Grazia Giammarinaro on Monday urged the Malaysian government [press release] to make improvements to its efforts to combat human trafficking. At the conclusion of her first visit to Malaysia, Giammarinaro said [statement] that there are currently several million undocumented migrant workers in Malaysia. Although the legal framework to prevent and combat trafficking is in place in Malaysia, she said that “the challenge is now to make the whole mechanism more effective and able to deal with the ever changing features of trafficking, especially concerning its labor dimension.” Giammarinaro added that the increase in the social vulnerability of migrants is a result of the criminalization of irregular migrants, and this criminalization may lead to an increase in unreported exploitation by migrants out of fear of being prosecuted.

Human trafficking [JURIST backgrounder] is is an international issue plaguing countries all over the world. To combat human trafficking, countries like Kenya have passed laws [JURIST report] to provide greater support to victims of human trafficking by making it easier to secure convictions for perpetrators. Previously in Kenya the threshold of evidence required to convict was very high and like in Malaysia, few victims were willing to give evidence as to the trauma they experienced. Last year the UN urged the island nation of Seychelles [JURIST report] to establish a plan to combat human trafficking and to hasten to pass the draft anti-trafficking bill circulating in its legislature.