Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Malaysia

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 5 June 2002
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Malaysia, 5 June 2002, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Malaysia (Tier 2)

Malaysia is a source and destination country for trafficked persons, primarily for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Persons trafficked into Malaysia come from Indonesia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines and a small but increasing number from Uzbekistan. Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia and Taiwan are destinations for Malaysian trafficking victims. Trafficking on a smaller scale also occurs within Malaysia's borders.

The Government of Malaysia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. An interagency group on transnational organized crime addresses trafficking in persons, and four other interagency committees address illegal immigration, foreign labor, and border control. A separate agency investigates public corruption. There is no specific law against trafficking but applicable law criminalizes most of the acts involved in trafficking in persons. Although persons suspected of trafficking may be detained, to date there have been no prosecutions or convictions for the specific offense of trafficking. A limited number of law enforcement officials have participated in anti-trafficking training programs. An anti-vice unit recently launched a campaign to clamp down on local criminal groups affiliated with international criminal syndicates involved in trafficking. While there are no indications of general government complicity in trafficking in persons, the government recently suspended three senior police officers for negligence in an illegal migration case. Five officers were also dismissed for involvement in criminal and corrupt activities. Embassies and consulates are required to report on the number of trafficking cases involving Malaysian citizens abroad. In terms of protection, the government sponsors rehabilitation services for at-risk women and girls, and provides financial support to NGOs dedicated to women's welfare, including shelter for victims of rape and domestic violence, legal referrals and job-skills training. However, the government generally treats foreign victims of trafficking as immigration offenders, detaining and deporting them. Repatriated Malaysian victims may receive public assistance. There are no witness protection programs, although laws punish prevention of testimony, and foreign trafficking victims may obtain special permission to remain in the country to testify in criminal proceedings. The government has taken steps to address prevention of trafficking. The largest ethnic Chinese party in the ruling parliamentary coalition publishes trafficking warnings in its Chinese-language publications and holds periodic press conferences highlighting the plight of returned Malaysian trafficking victims. Public service announcements about the dangers of trafficking by an international organization have been broadcast on television. In 2001, the government created a cabinet-level post for the Minister of Women's Affairs and Family Development and passed a constitutional amendment barring sex discrimination.

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