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

Malaysia (Tier 3)

Malaysia is both a source and destination country for trafficked persons. Young women from primarily Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines are trafficked into Malaysia for sexual exploitation. Small numbers of young Malaysian women, primarily ethnic Chinese, are trafficked to Japan, Canada, the United States and Taiwan, also for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malaysia does not yet meet the minimum standards, and faces serious impediments to taking significant steps to combat the problem of trafficking in persons. Efforts to date have focused on eradicating prostitution and illegal immigration. There is no law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, although laws that might be used against traffickers have penalties that can be more severe than those for sexual assault. The Government considers trafficking to be an illegal immigration and prostitution problem and treats foreign victims of trafficking as illegal immigrants. The Government has not prosecuted any cases against traffickers. There is no evidence of complicity in trafficking by government authorities; however, there have been allegations of some low-level corruption. There are active NGO's that provide assistance to trafficking victims. They maintain one shelter that provides counseling and medical and legal referrals, but the Government does not appear to support financially the work of NGO's. The Government sometimes sends trafficked women who have been victims of physical abuse to either an NGO shelter or to a shelter for battered women. Repatriated Malaysian victims are eligible for public assistance and at least one community-based organization offers services such as counseling to victims. The difficulty of monitoring the country's maritime borders with Indonesia and the Philippines, two major sources of trafficked persons, has hampered the Government's efforts to combat trafficking.


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