Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Malaysia, IOM Form Strategic Cooperation To Combat Human Trafficking


PUTRAJAYA, March 9 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) will enhance their cooperation and expertise to tackle human trafficking cases effectively said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Hishammuddin said the relationship would be enhanced when IOM sets up a permanent office in Kuala Lumpur soon.
"The Ministry has no objection for IOM to set up a branch here....a working paper on the proposal will be presented to the Cabinet next week after approval from Wisma Putra," he told reporters after meeting IOM Director-General William Lacy Swing here Tuesday.
Hishammuddin said the cooperation with IOM would include training investigating officers and prosecutors involved in cases of human trafficking and migration.
"The cooperation will also reduce the time frame for acquiring such expertise and through expertise provided by the police and other agencies involved like the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, services and efficiency can be improved," he said.
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental partners.
With 127 member states, a further 17 states holding observer status and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all and does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.
IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, to promote international cooperation on migration issues, to assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people.
The IOM Constitution recognises the link between migration and economic, social and cultural development, as well as to the right of freedom of movement.
Meanwhile, William said: "Human trafficking and migration issues need a holistic solution and IOM is looking forward to expand the relationship with the Malaysian authorities."
William said IOM's desire was to be of service to the government and the people of Malaysia as the body was already working in many other countries around the world, in particular South East Asia, since there is a real opportunity to partner governments here.
Malaysia has registered 186 human trafficking cases in the last two years and from that total, 154 victims were women, 60 men and 17 children while 262 arrests were made during the same period.

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