The Cambodian Women's Crisis Centre (CWCC) have recently released a report entitled "Trafficking of Cambodian Women and Children: Report of the Fact-Finding Mission in Malaysia." Research for the report was conducted in Malaysia during March and April of 2005. The original purpose of the mission was to assess the conditions and magnitude of regional trafficking rings forcing Cambodian people into labour conditions akin to slavery; and to explore the venue for concrete cooperation between agencies in Malaysia and Cambodia for social and legal redress of the situation and in the repatriation of Cambodian trafficked victims. While their prime target group was Cambodian women and children their mission also exposed a significant number of Cambodian men who had been trafficked to Malaysia.
Malaysia has not established any legislation against human trafficking. As there is no process to distinguish between trafficking victims and illegal migrants, trafficking victims are arrested and charged for working without a permit and put into detention camps like any other illegal immigrants. CWCC highlights that there were no agencies either in Malaysia or Singapore operating specific programs for the trafficking of foreigners into Malaysia at the time of the fact-finding. The report emphasizes a "dire need" for bilateral cooperation between government and non-governmental organizations in Malaysia and Cambodia to establish programs and policies to stop trafficking and to provide social services to trafficked persons.
During a visit to Semenyih Detention Camp, the research team identified 32 Cambodian detainees (24 women and children and 8 men). 18 out of the 24 women and all of the 8 men had been recruited for factory work. Out of the 32 detainees, 21 were from Kampong Cham, 4 were from Battambang, 2 were from Phnom Penh, and 1 from Banteay Meanchay, Kandal, Kratie, Pursat, and Kompong Thom provinces. The report also claims that "the route of transportation is not different between sex trafficking and labour exploitation", all interviewees claimed to be transported to Malaysia through Poipet.
The report exposes some interesting trends in the trafficking of Cambodian people to Malaysia and provides recommendations as to how to begin to address the problem from both the Malaysian side and the Cambodian side.
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