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The Malaysian Chinese Association reported that it assisted 73 trafficking victims in escaping from vice syndicates during 2003. However, police had no comprehensive policy to protect victims of trafficking. Rather than prosecute traffickers, police generally arrested or deported individual women for immigration offenses. The police and members of the Bar Council legal aid bureau advised that this was the easiest and fastest way to expedite victims' return to their home countries. Trafficking victims who exhibit signs of physical abuse may be sent to a women's shelter instead of being detained by the police; however, permission from the police to allow victims to reside in a shelter was sometimes difficult to obtain.1
The Government recognized the need to improve the treatment and protection of trafficking victims. A local women's NGO was working with the Bar Council to draft legislation specifically aimed at prosecuting traffickers and protecting victims. 2
The Chairperson assists victims of trafficking and illegal migrants workers who are incarcerated in Malaysia with legal advice and is also engaged in an effort with NGOs to write draft legislation for a trafficking in persons law in Malaysia.
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