Measures to Counter Human Trafficking Activities

Measures to Counter Human Trafficking Activities


To commemorate the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which falls on July 30 every year, we need to stand in solidarity with all the victims of human trafficking to combat trafficking and exploitation.

Many victims of trafficking suffer irreparable injuries and experience long-life trauma as a result of their trafficking experience.

Victims often suffer repeated and prolonged physical, sexual, psychological, emotional or financial harm which makes them feel helpless and worthless. Scars, constant headaches, hearing loss, malnutrition, bone deformity, and post-traumatic syndrome are among the common injuries suffered by victims of trafficking.

To address the root cause of trafficking, Its imperative to examine the push and pull factors of trafficking.

Push factors are life situations that give an individual a reason to be dissatisfied with their present situation. This includes poverty, unemployment, low wages. rapid population growth, political repression, low social status, gender inequality, and others.

These factors provide a pathway for the traffickers to deceive or coerce individuals into migrating for work. It also makes the pull factors appealing.

Pull factors include demand, job opportunities. well-being, social and political freedom, and others. While the pull factors may sound attractive, victims often find themselves in exploitative working conditions once they start working.

Despite the existence of the anti-trafficking laws and the National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking, there is still more to be done to support victims of trafficking.

We can start by ensuring that we only buy fair trade products and avoid buying cheap products. Most cheap products or goods are often made in sweatshops which indicates the use of forced or trafficked labour. Labour trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labour, or involuntary child labour.

We can also act to ensure that our working conditions are fair and decent.

Working conditions cover a broad range of areas ranging from working time (hours of work, rest periods, and work schedules) to remuneration, as well as hygiene and physical conditions in the workplace.

The anti-trafficking campaigns and continuous anti-trafficking raids by law enforcers have undoubtedly helped to interrupt human trafficking activities.

However, ongoing anti-trafficking campaigns are important to create awareness in society.

Only through collective, inclusive, and society-wide effort can we help to reduce and eradicate human trafficking in Malaysia.

The author is a criminologist and Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universiti Malaya. She may be reached at [email protected]

Photo credit — Kate Oseen (Unsplash)

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