KUCHING: The federal government plans to build shelters to house victims of human trafficking cases in Sarawak.
According to Minister for Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, the plans involved its federal counterpart, the federal Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development alongside the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“However, the two ministries are still in the process of identifying and engaging with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responsible for managing the operation of the shelter,” she told the media after a sharing session on human trafficking here today.
Fatimah added that Sarawak did not have a shelter to accommodate victims of human trafficking at the moment.
“The state, however, does provide shelters for victims of domestic violence.
“If there is a case concerning human trafficking, the victims will be placed in shelters provided in Melaka for men and Sabah for women.”
According to Anti-Trafficking in Persons (ATIP) statistics, Fatimah said from 2018 until July 2022, Sarawak recorded 25 cases of human trafficking involving 71 victims.
“Out of the total case, only one was prosecuted under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act, 2007 which is in Sibu.
“While the other cases are under the Immigration Act – Section (55B of the Immigration Act, 6 (1) ( c ) of the Immigration Act and Section 372B of the Penal Code.”
In other developments, Fatimah said cases of domestic violence showed a decrease this year.
“A total of 345 cases were recorded in Sarawak for the period of January to July 2022 compared to the Jan-July 2021 last year with 414 cases.
“Domestic violence cases do not only occur between husbands and wives but also involved the child and parents or even grandparents.
“The main cause of such cases is due to drug and substance abuse and that’s why we are very serious in tackling drug issues.”
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