WASHINGTON—Three years ago, President Bush declared that he had "zero tolerance" for trafficking in humans by the government's overseas contractors, and two years ago Congress mandated a similar policy.
But notwithstanding the president's statement and the congressional edict, the Defense Department has yet to adopt a policy to bar human trafficking.
A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records.
The lobbying groups opposing the plan say they're in favor of the idea in principle, but said they believe that implementing key portions of it overseas is unrealistic. They represent thousands of firms, including some of the industry's biggest names, such as DynCorp International and Halliburton subsidiary KBR, both of which have been linked to trafficking-related concerns
Exploitation of Bangladeshis in
- HR activist terms it human trafficking Malaysia
The exploitative practices centring Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia constitute nothing other than human trafficking; the governments of Bangladesh and Malaysia have not been able to protect the workers' rights, said Irene Fernandez, a veteran migrants' rights activist of Malaysia.
When they brought workers in surplus numbers to Malaysia, they were only interested in making fast cash. The outsourcing companies told Bangladeshi job brokers 'you pay me 500 ringgit per worker and find jobs for them and do whatever'. So, Bangladeshi job brokers then bought the workers from the outsourcing companies, and literally made them slaves. The brokers then told the workers 'you go and work, I will give you food and lodging'. And the workers were put to work for two, three, or four months. So, the contract that had been signed between the workers and recruiting agencies in Bangladesh, which was attested by the Bangladesh government, had no meaning any more.
The question is now, why no action is being taken against the Malaysian outsourcing companies for the fact that they violated the contracts. Again, the governments of both countries have not been able to enforce the rules. Malaysia has to make its companies accountable, and Bangladesh has to make its recruiting agencies accountable. Because the passports of the workers are being held and the workers who don't have any job are being locked up by the job brokers or the outsourcing companies, it constitutes nothing but human trafficking. And, with the global economic recession, the situation is going to worsen, because many of the companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are collapsing.
Malaysia gets praises for battling human trafficking.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he was informed by the prime minister's office yesterday that Australian Prime Minister recognised Malaysia's efforts and seriousness in tackling the issues of human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants.The australian prime minister conveyed this to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a phone conversation.Expressing his delight, Hishammuddin said that the Anti-Trafficking in Persons (Amendment) Bill received a consensus from both Barisan Nasional and the opposition MPs."It shows that all of us can make a stand and agree on the importance of the bill," he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday.He added that the amendment of the bill was monitored by the Australian government and they were impressed with the actions taken by Malaysia in taking precautionary measures in dealing with cross-border crimes.Hishammuddin added that he had also received the contents of the speech by Gillard through the Australian embassy.
"In the speech, Australia has stated clearly their committment to cooperate with Malaysia to reduce crimes in areas of terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants as these are still very prevalent, and efforts will be strengthened and continued."
Earlier in parliament, Hishammuddin said from Feb to July 4 this year, 154 human trafficking cases were investigated, of which 127 cases were brought to court for trial.Of the 127 cases, 83 people were charged involving nine cases.To questions from MPs as to why those found guilty of human trafficking were not charged under the Immigration Act, Hishammuddin said it was not specifically enacted for tackling human trafficking."The Immigration Act does not have any elements on human trafficking and is not as comprehensive compared with the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill. Moreover, its penalties are lower."
He said under the Immigration Act, the only action that would be taken is to charge foreign immigrant with lack of proper travel pass and deport them back to their original countries.Earlier during the debate on the bill, Hasbi Habbibollah (BN-Limbang) said many girls from the neighbouring countries were duped into the flesh trade after they were initially promised other jobs.
"In my constituency, I have personally seen teenagers who managed to escape from human traffickers and sought refuge in a mosque."
He said the country's porous borders and lack of enforcement in the area made it harder for the government to check the problem.
Malaysia gets praises for battling human trafficking http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/27traf/Article/#ixzz1HrjyiVSDARTICLE 4
80 Filipino women on way to jobs in Malaysia, Middle East rescued from human traffickers
ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — Philippine police have rescued 80 Filipino women from a suspected human trafficking syndicate that was planning to send them to be maids in Malaysia and the Middle East.
Police Superintendent Celso Bael said they stopped the women, who pretended to be tourists, from boarding a chartered flight from the southern city of Zamboanga to Malaysia on Thursday.
He says that, from Malaysia, some would have been be sent to Libya, Lebanon and Egypt.
He says they were recruited from the Philippine capital and nine provinces around the country.
The women have been brought to the Social Welfare Department for counselling.
Few employment opportunities at home have forced millions of Filipinos to find work abroad, even in dangerous areas