16 June 2010 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: At least 56 victims of human trafficking from Burma including some underage children are being rescued from slavery by the Malaysian authority since February 2008.
According to statistics released by Malaysia Home Ministry, 28 victims from Burma were given protection order by Malaysian Government while another 28 received temporary protection order to ensure their safety from assault of human traffickers.
Out of the 28 Burma victims who received protection order, nine of them are female children, five female adult and nine male adult.
Malaysian authority granted 292 protection orders to human trafficking victims from February 2008 until March 2010, Indonesian topping the list with a total of 102 victims, Philippines (60), Thai (36), Chinese – mainland China (29) and followed by Burma with 28 victims.
Most of the human trafficking victims are believed to be sold as slaves in sweat shops and brothels operated illegally in the country.
Rescued victims will be sent to shelter home before they are repatriated to their home country respectively after going through investigation and persecution against the traffickers.
In March this year, 16 human trafficking victims who housed in a shelter home close to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang district ran away from the centre, being afraid to be repatriated to their own country.
Among the escapee are four Burma citizens, named Ko Kyaw, Tho, Ata and Epo. The police and Immigration Department failed to track all 16 of them.
Malaysia Government is trying hard to cleanse its name from human trafficking activities after a series of condemning from local and international non-governmental organizations for not doing enough in combating the crime.
Last year, a Malaysian Immigration official was charged with selling an illegal immigrant from Burma to human traffickers at the country’s border with Thailand.
The Home Ministry is gathering strength from several ministries and four enforcement agencies that is the Police, Custom, Immigration Department and Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency or APMM to fight human trafficking syndicates.
The country recently launched its national plan to combat human trafficking by putting advertisement in printed and electronic media urging its citizens to report human trafficking activities using 999 emergencies hot line.
The Obama administration is praising Malaysia and Taiwan for improving efforts to stop the sexual and forced labour exploitation of women and children.
Instability in Burma led by the military junta are causing more ethnic minorities and Burmans alike being cheated and traded as slaves into brothels, factories and fishing vessels in Thailand and Malaysia.