Malaysia downgraded to Tier 3 in human trafficking

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been downgraded to Tier 3 from Tier 2 in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2009 released on June 16 by the US Department of States, said Foreign Minister Datuk Anifah Aman.

He said Malaysia had enforced the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act in 2007 to prosecute traffickers, and protect and rehabilitate the victims.

The act is aimed at upgrading Malaysia's status in tackling human trafficking, he said in a statement Friday.

The TIP Report ranks countries based on their level of compliance on established minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.

"Malaysia's seriousness in tackling the issue can seen in the number of cases brought to the court and the number of victims rescued.

"These are not considered in the TIP Report (between April 2008 and March 2009). Countries are ranked according to the Tiers based on the United States' perception on their records," he added.

Anifah said he met US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ranking Minority Member of US Senate Committee Senator Richard Lugar when he visited Washington DC on Monday and Tuesday.

"During the meeting, I told them that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took a serious view on an allegation that Malaysian civil servants had been implicated in human trafficking and he had ordered an investigation," said Anifah.

He said he had also proposed that human trafficking should be deliberated at the regional or international forum. (Bernama)

MySinchew 2009.06.20