WE, representatives of Malaysia’s government agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs), together with employ- ers’ and workers’ organisations have gathered at the 1st MAPO-JHAMS Malaysia’s National Conference Against Trafficking in Persons, Kuala Lumpur, 5 & 6 August 2019 to examine the progress, issues and challenges in the elimination of trafficking in persons in Malaysia. This con- ference provided an inclusive multi-stakeholder platform to raise awareness on issues relating to trafficking in per- sons, and to explore ways to strengthen collaboration and partnership to address it at scale. The convening of this national conference was envisioned to improve further the implementation of national anti-trafficking efforts and other national legislative measures; and to contribute towards the development of the 3rd National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP, 2021-2025).
As such, WE, collectively:
Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act and other legislative measures; including national policies and strategies to eliminate trafficking in persons, as well as establishing and/or strengthening national action plan(s) to eliminate forced and bonded labour, child labour, and other forms of labour exploitation.
Reaffirm the key role that employers’ and workers’ or- ganisations as well as CSOs must play in the eradication of trafficking in persons in all its forms, and in promoting decent work for all, in particular for women, young peo- ple, migrant workers and other groups of marginalised and vulnerable societies.
Declare our commitment to eradicate trafficking in per- sons in all its forms, and call upon relevant Malaysian government agencies, members of CSOs, together with employers’ and workers’ organisations to assume the following actions.
ACTIONS Reaffirm that trafficking in persons, in all its forms, constitutes a violation of human rights and human dignity; and recognise that causes and consequences of poverty, ine- quality, discrimination, social exclusion require an inte- grated and holistic approach to eliminate it.
Recall the purpose and principles of the Universal Decla- ration of Human Rights (UDHR); the United Nations Con- vention against Transnational Organised Crime, and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Funda- mental Conventions; and other relevant international agreements and resolutions of the United Nations.
Recall the purpose and principles of the ASEAN Charter; the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (AHRD); the ASEAN Community Vision 2025; the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children (ACTIP); and other relevant regional agreements and in- struments.
Emphasize that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Devel- opment represents a unique opportunity to accelerate the eradication of forced labour, modern slavery and trafficking in persons under Target 8.7, and all forms of violence against all women and girls including trafficking and sexual exploitation under Target 5.2.
Stress the continuing need to strengthen national efforts to eliminate trafficking in persons, including effective im- plementation of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-
National Plan and Strategy (Policy)
1.Fully implement Malaysia’s National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons (NAP-TiP) (2016-2020); and take stock of its implementation for effective formulation of the next five-year national action plan;
2.Provide an introductory section on concepts and defini- tions to ensure everyone is ‘speaking the same lan- guage’ for a common platform of understanding;
3.Strengthen the labour trafficking section in the next five -year NAP-TiP. This should include having measurable, time-bound and actionable indicators to track and eval- uate progress of the labour trafficking efforts;
4.Strengthen inter-agency collaboration in combating modern slavery;
5.Allocate adequate resources for the effective and sus- tainable implementation of existing services and assis- tance offered to victims of trafficking;
6.Address child-specific needs and protection of children at risk of trafficking and trafficked children;
7.Provide legal clarity on the elements of trafficking and raise awareness of the distinction between cases of trafficking and other situations, including irregular mi- gration, labour disputes and prostitution as well as smuggling and refugees to facilitate accurate identifica- tion of victims by front-line officers. Legal reform and improved enforcement of the law should be in line with ILO Convention 29, Employment Act, ATIPSOM and Pe- nal Code;
8. Develop appropriate methodology and nation-wide data collection strategy and analysis on exploitation against women and girls, and labour trafficking cases; and
9.Prioritise business’ accountability and transparency including encouraging public disclosure.
Prosecution and Conviction
1.Increase the number of trafficking prosecutions and convictions, including that of complicit officials and forced labour crimes;
2.Reduce court delays and increase judicial familiarity with the full range of trafficking crimes, particularly in cases involving forced and bonded labour;
3.Increase transparency by making public the results of investigations involving corrupt officials and ensure officials are accountable when they violate the law;
4.Address specific obstacles faced by migrant women to ensure they have access to justice and recourse to effective remedies; and
5.Ensure that victims of trafficking can be identified when they are at immigration detention centres and avoid their repatriation and re-victimisation.
1.Widen labour protection for domestic workers, investi- gate allegations of worker abuse, and eliminate wage theft;
2.Facilitate the approval for freedom of movement for trafficked victims;
3.Facilitate the approval for employment for trafficked victims;
4. Establish effective SOP to ensure safety and security at shelters;
5.Establish a national referral system with a comprehen- sive SOP for effective victim identification and support services;
6.Ensure migrant domestic workers are guaranteed the same level of protection and benefits as other migrant workers in law and in practise, and that they have ac- cess to effective remedies and redress against abuse by employers;
7.Ensure that appropriate procedures are in place to eval- uate the best interests of the child during the stage of identification, protection and assistance and before making any decision on the eventual repatriation of the child; and
8.Harmonise identification protocols to combat traffick- ing in persons, developing a range of red flags and indi- cators to be used when screening vulnerable persons, including undocumented migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons.
1.Enhance awareness raising initiatives that target work- ers, including domestic workers, of their basic rights to accommodation, wages and freedom;
2.Enhance awareness raising activities targeting all levels of society, empowering them to take necessary action to eliminate trafficking in persons, including online cyber security threats; and
3.Take measures to strengthen regional and international cooperation, including partnership with industry to pre- vent and combat trafficking in persons.
Capacity Building and Partnership
1.Ensure meaningful and effective government-CSO part- nership across all areas of policy formulation and imple- mentation;
2.Increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies with a victim-centred approach across all phases of case management;
3.Increase the capacity of labour inspectors to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers and young workers;
4.Amend the existing legal framework to enable ade- quately funded service providers and organisations working on trafficking in persons to provide compre- hensive assistance, such as social, psychological, medi- cal and legal support as well as translation and interpre- tation services for victims of trafficking; and
5.Improve case management and communication with trafficking victims, strengthen collaboration with NGOs and implement plans to provide more services for vic- tims.
We urge all parties to accelerate efforts to provide equal social protection and access to public services; guarantee free and fair access to justice for all, especially those vic- tims of trafficking in persons.
The participants express their appreciation to MAPO and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) as well as “Joining Hands Against Modern Slavery” (JHAMS) for hosting this Conference, and welcome the Government of Malaysia’s intention to bring these recommendations to the highest level of authority for further consideration and necessary action.