Child Trafficking

Proposer:

CSO Platform For Reform – Child Cluster

Affiliations:

Child Rights Coalition Malaysia (CRCM)

Policy Code:

2e Child

Problem Statement / Issue:

1. Malaysia has been downgraded to Tier 3 Watch List as the government does not fully meet
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts
to do so.
2. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity the
government continue to conflate human trafficking and migrant smuggling crimes and did
not adequately address or criminally pursue credible allegations from multiple sources
alleging labor trafficking.
3. Children including refugee children have been trafficked on all forms of labour exploitation
and child marriage. Anti-trafficking enforcements do not classify child marriages as
trafficking incidents as they consider children’s consent as valid. Refugee, migrant and other
vulnerable children are smuggled, become victims of debt bondage and are sold into
marriages, forced labour, begging and experience violence and torture.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

National laws to protect children, namely Child Act 2001, Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017
need to be harmonized with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling Of Migrants Act 2007
and Penal Code in line with UN Conventions to protect all children, including all those from refugee,
migrant and stateless communities.

Proposal of Solution and Call to Action:

1. Establish a formal, timely and effective child centred case management procedure including
accurate identification, response mechanisms, assessment for international protection to
ensure child survivors are referred for protection and services.
2. Institutionalise awareness raising and trainings on trafficking and smuggling, anti-trafficking
laws, Child Act 2001, SOACA, interagency coordination and data sharing, child friendly
interview techniques, confidential reporting mechanisms with anti-trafficking enforcement
and border control authorities, judiciaries, prosecutors, police, medical authorities including
SCAN and OSCC, child protectors, social workers, teachers, NGOs, religious authorities,
families and children including refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants.
3. Coordinate systematic dialogues on national and international data sharing with consent
and confidentiality safeguards, legal procedures and stronger cooperation with countries of
origins, transit and destination to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers and protect child
survivors.
4. Stop arrest, detention and deportation of trafficked migrant and refugee children on
violating immigration laws and avail temporary residence permits, interpretation services,
redress, rehabilitation and compensation. Recommend repatriation following a best interest
determination for the trafficked child and in the case of refugees, government agencies to
coordinate with UNHCR.

Translation

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