KUALA LUMPUR, August 5 – More than 60 per cent of human trafficking cases in the last 15 years involved women and girls, most of them trafficked for sexual exploitation, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
At a ceremony to mark World Day Against Trafficking In Persons 2022, which was held at the central zone women’s shelter, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Rina Harun said, “accumulated data in Malaysia shows that from 2008 until now, a total of 16,000 suspected victims of trafficking have been rescued and provided with Interim Protection Orders (IPOs)”.
World Day Against Trafficking In Persons is marked annually on July 30 to bring attention to a crime that exploits women, children, and men for numerous purposes, including forced labour and sex.
The theme for this year is ‘Use and Abuse of Technology’, which focuses on the role of technology as a tool that can both enable and impede human trafficking.
Ghada Waly, executive director of UNODC, said the advantages and potential of digital technology to bring people together and improve lives is being increasingly exploited by criminals.
“To protect people, we need to protect digital spaces from criminal abuse. To do so, we must support countries to harness technologies for good,” she said in a video message on the UNODC website.
“Partnerships with tech companies and the private sector can keep traffickers from preying on the vulnerable and stop the circulation of online content that amplifies the suffering of trafficking victims.”
On her ministry’s Facebook page, Rina said that the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and the Ministry of Home Affairs will continue to monitor human trafficking activities online and employ sophisticated technologies to assist victims, in line with this year’s theme.
“Efforts to eradicate human trafficking activities not only lies on the shoulders of the government, but is also the responsibility of all parties because national security issues is a shared responsibility,” she said.