KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — Appointing protection officers among members of the public is one of the amendments that will be made under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (Atipsom) 2007 said Social Welfare Department (JKM) Community Service Order Division director Ahmad Hashim Selamat.
Without divulging further Ahmad Hashim said the plan to amend the act should be carried out last year but could not be implemented due to the Covid-19 pandemic and would likely be done this year.
He said the amendment would also seek to improve the role of the Women, Family, and Community Development Minister and the operation of shelters for victims of human trafficking.
Currently, protection officers under Atipsom are appointed among government officials, he said when appearing as a guest on Bernama TV’s Ruang Bicara talkshow programme, here.
According to him, the amendment process would involve several parties including the Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants, the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry and relevant departments.
On the United States Department of State Trafficking in Persons report that placed Malaysia in the Tier 2 Watch List in 2020, he said various enhancements were being made to improve Malaysia’s position such as providing adequate health screening and interpreter services to victims of human trafficking as well as increasing collaboration with non-governmental organisations.
“Malaysia has been placed in the Tier 2 position for three years in a row and we really hope it can be improved,” he said.
Meanwhile, JKM Policy and International Relations Division head Rosmaini Ahmad said one of the measures taken to improve Malaysia’s position was to provide skills to the victims to allow them to generate income such as repairing electronic devices that they can utilise while in the country as well as when they return to their home countries.