NEW YORK – Malaysia is committed to improving its ranking from Tier 2 of the Watch List of the 2023 United States Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said they have until April to rise from the current ranking before the new report is published.
“We need to detect more cases, open more investigation papers, ensure they are hauled to court and finally, see that they are brought to conviction. This matter was conveyed to us by the US State Department in its report to us,” he told Malaysian reporters at the end of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s visit to the US during the 78th United Nations General Assembly.
Saifuddin said he also met several agencies and departments under the US State Department and briefed them on Malaysia’s ongoing initiatives.
He added that UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi promised to assist Malaysia in terms of data sharing to gain accurate figures.
He said he also visited the US Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Centre, which pledged to assist Malaysia in capacity building for border security.
The recommendations in the TIP Report include increasing efforts to identify trafficking victims, including victims of labour trafficking among vulnerable populations, as well as household workers and workers in the palm oil and disposable glove manufacturing sectors.
The other recommendations were to increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases as distinct from migrant smuggling, including those involving complicit officials and forced labour crimes; as well as train officials, including police, labour inspectors and immigration officials, on standard operating procedures for victim identification that includes information on trafficking indicators.