MAPO’s Consultation Series #1: Victim Screening Process. A workshop on Human Trafficking, jointly organized by Global Shepherds and Project Liber8, and sponsored by European Union and Unicef Malaysia.
This consultation workshop came about pursuant to the 1st National Anti-Trafficking conference held in Aug 2019, where it was mutually acknowledged that there was a need for greater government-NGO collaborations.
The National Strategic Office, Council of Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (NSO MAPO) responded to this need, resulting in the 2-part Consultation Workshop Series #1:-
Part 1 : National Guidelines on Human Trafficking Indicators
Part 2 : Streamlining Victim Identification and Approvals Process
Attendees were MAPO, government enforcement agencies, protection and enforcement officers, officers from the relevant government departments, and a host of CSOs and NGOs.
Consultation Series Part 1 Attendees
The first part focused on thematic issues relating to human trafficking - identifying human trafficking victims, recognizing the different types of trafficking and consequently identifying human trafficking indicators as part of the Victim Screening Process. And working towards developing standard official national guidelines on human trafficking indicators (NGHTI), in line with Article 14 of the Asean Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). The establishment of standard national guidelines is sorely needed as a unified SOP which can be used by all parties across the divide.
The second part had the participants look deeper into the current Victim Identification and Approvals Process, especially covering the Interim Protection Order (IPO) and Protection Order (PO) process.
Consultation Series Part 2 Attendees
The focus group discussions held on both days produced results that were enlightening and informative to all parties concerned. There was interesting discourse and reciprocative discussions throughout, which culminated in all parties gaining a better understanding of the other’s roles and circumstances.
Even as bouquets and brickbats were exchanged, the challenges and problems faced by both government agencies and/or CSOs/NGOs were duly noted and accepted, and in a mutual agreement to move forward and work together.
As the government is reviewing the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act, the outcome of this workshop is timely in providing points of recommendation.
The first session was a knowledge sharing session, presented by Dr. Sharuna Verghis, Senior Lecturer at Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University; and Dr. Xavier Pereira, Founder and Director of HEI , also Associate Professor at Taylor’s University , who shared some very insightful tips from a mental health point of view, talking about the psychological and emotional impact on victims.
Following that, participants were given an insight into on-the-ground experiences by NGOs and enforcement and prosecution agencies alike.
Alex Ong, Migrant Care; Willa Mowe, Global Shepherds and Alex Lui, SUKA Society; spoke on behalf of the NGOs whilst the government agencies were represented by the Royal Police of Malaysia, Labour Department and the Deputy Public Prosecutor, Attorney General Chambers.
We were honoured with the presence of foreign speakers for Part 2, wherein much was learnt of policies and laws in other countries :-
Mr. Lousie Cranefield, Counsellor, Department of Home Affairs, Australia High Commission;
Mr. KM Ali Reza, Programme Coordinator for The Bali Process Regional Support Office; and
Rev. Kai-li Lee, Director of GOH-Migrants, Garden of Hope Taiwan, which operates shelters and provides refuge as well as support services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault etc, including migrant workers.