Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Singapore

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 July 2001
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Singapore, 12 July 2001, 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.

Singapore (Tier 2)

Singapore is a destination country for women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation, principally from India but also from Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. Indian, Bangladeshi, and Filipino men and women often face coercive employment situations in indentured servitude due to contracts entered into abroad.

The Government of Singapore meets the minimum standards. There is no omnibus law against trafficking in persons; however, such acts are punishable under laws which prohibit the trafficking of women or girls into the country for purposes of prostitution, unlawful custody or control of children, wrongful confinement, and trafficking of illegal immigrants. While none of these laws prescribe punishments commensurate with those for rape, punishments for offenses are substantial. Convicted traffickers would typically be found guilty of violating more than one law, which in the aggregate could provide commensurate punishment. There is no evidence that government officials are complicit in trafficking, and the country has no corruption. Prostitution is not illegal, although profiting from it by other persons does violate the law, and the use of fraud or coercion to induce women into prostitution is illegal. In practice, the authorities usually tolerate prostitution, which largely involves foreign women, some of whom are trafficked. There is no specific campaign to combat or prevent the use of fraud or coercion to recruit foreign women as prostitutes, although some persons have been prosecuted and punished for crimes involving such acts. Immigration laws are enforced strictly, which sharply reduces the flow of persons potentially vulnerable to trafficking, and adds to the legal jeopardy faced by would-be traffickers. The Ministry of Manpower investigates complaints by foreign workers, and prevents employers from terminating workers while an investigation is ongoing; the Ministry is not known to have received such complaints. The Government substantially strengthened penalties against employers who abuse domestics in 1998, and prosecutes the now greatly reduced cases of abuse; however, victims testifying in cases are required to remain in the country and often are not permitted to work. There are no known NGO's that assist sex trafficking victims and the Government does not provide assistance.

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