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S’pore government finds US report “rather puzzling”

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) has reacted angrily to the US Department of State's "Trafficking in Persons Report 2010". [See here for TOC’s write-up on the report.]

The following is the Singapore government’s press statement posted on the MFA website.

In response to media enquiries on the US Department of State's "Trafficking in Persons Report 2010" released on 14 June 2010 which had downgraded Singapore's ranking from Tier Two last year to Tier Two Watch List this year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman said:

"We have read the latest TIP Report. It is rather puzzling because the US has not satisfactorily explained how it had arrived at its conclusions. The Singapore Government is committed to tackling the TIP issue, and our efforts in dealing with this issue have certainly not weakened since last year. We will respond in detail as appropriate in due course.

But let me say that the TIP Report is more a political ritual than an objective study. How, for example, can the US rank itself in Tier One when it is well known that the US has been unable to stem a flood of illegal workers, many of whom are trafficked by organised criminal gangs? It has not been able to cope adequately with the problem and that is among the reasons why immigration is such a hot political issue in the US. The US should perhaps examine its own record more carefully before presuming to pronounce on other countries. Then its reports may be more credible."

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
SINGAPORE

15 JUNE 2010

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Meanwhile, Malaysia was upgraded from “Tier 3” to “Tier 2” – a ranking which puts it above Singapore’s. Malaysian Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein, said: "I must congratulate the ministry's officers and other relevant ministries in helping Malaysia achieve this important stage of our efforts to stop human trafficking crimes," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

"Human trafficking is a major international phenomenon in a globalised and borderless world. This particular crime is linked to prostitution, drug trafficking, cyber-crimes and terrorism.

"This is why we have to increase our efforts to combat human trafficking."

See The Star Online report.