The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) refers to news reports of the rescue of 18 people including seven children at an oil palm plantation in Hulu Perak. Suhakam commends the police for their efforts and hopes that these arrests will strengthen the process of dismantling more human trafficking syndicates within the country.
Human trafficking is a serious criminal offence and a grave violation of human rights. It roots its profit from human suffering. Suhakam reiterates that child labour violates the fulfilment of the full range of children’s rights as contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Malaysia has ratified the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No 182) and is required to eliminate the worst forms of child labour, including all forms of slavery or practices similar to slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and forced or compulsory labour, including using children for work which is likely to harm the health, safety or morals of children.
Suhakam believes that the government must monitor and better regulate businesses to prevent child labour, and Members of Parliament should unite in solidarity to the fight against human trafficking.
The government has committed significant resources to combating trafficking in persons and Suhakam will continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure that human trafficking and modern day slavery remain high on our agenda; and Suhakam will discuss the issue with all parties including parliamentarians and government agencies.
RAZALI ISMAIL is chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).