“My only criticism of the visit is that there were no efforts made for us in the NGO world to have an opportunity to have a face to face meeting with the visiting ambassador in a similar private setting!
Perhaps, going forward the narrative will change?”
ASEAN/APEC LEAD CONSUMERIST DR JACOB GEORGE: TRAFFICKING & EXPLOITATION – MERE LIP SERVICE NOT ENOUGH!
I was indeed glad to hear that US Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Susan Coppedge, is in Malaysia to hold discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
I understand that Coppedge, who is also senior adviser to the US Secretary of State, is on a two-day visit to Malaysia following the Trafficking in Persons report (TIP) 2016 issued by the US State Department’s Office in Washington on June 30.
The US government’s assessment on 188 countries in terms of prevention, prosecution and protection, saw Malaysia remaining in the Tier 2 Watchlist on human trafficking this year.
I am certain that the said interaction session was to discuss the recommendations given by the US State Department for Malaysia to improve the country’s ranking in next year’s report.
It is certainly not just enough to just collaborate with the United States in the field of capacity building which touches on all aspects of prosecution and convictions, including identifying individuals with potential to become victims of labor exploitation and forced labor but to also plan an action plan to identify the stakeholders, brokers, conduits and players, their financial backers and those who provide them the resources and immunity to escape the dragnet of these international forces!
Susan Coppedge must however be advised that Malaysia’s response on this matter has also to take cognizance of the country’s obligations as an ASEAN member country, following the acceptance of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and the Regional Plan of Action on the crime.
My only criticism of the visit is that there were no efforts made for us in the NGO world to have an opportunity to have a face to face meeting with the visiting ambassador in a similar private setting!
This must be an oversight?
Perhaps, going forward the narrative will change?