Civil society organisations AWARE, HOME, Project X and Workfair, as well as activists Vincent Law and Timothy Cheong (all together, the “signatories”), have written a joint open letter addressed to MP Mr Christopher de Souza and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Trafficking-in-Persons. The letter expresses the signatories’ disappointment with the serious limitations of the proposed Prevention of Human Trafficking Bill, which does not adequately address issues of deceptive recruitment, loss of liberty and debt bondage.
Public consultation on the Bill has taken place between 19 March and 15 April 2014. Representatives from the signatories and other civil society organisations attended the introductory session on 19 March, as well as other sessions, to learn more about the proposed Bill from the handouts and ensuing discussions.
The joint open letter reiterates views and concerns that have been expressed during the public consultation, reflecting the signatories’ view that although the proposed Bill attempts to recognise the nature of human trafficking, it is inadequate in providing protection and support to marginalised migrant workers in certain industries. More details can be found in the full letter.
“As we would not like for Singapore to be an economy built on the exploitation of migrant labour,” the letter ends, “a solid anti-trafficking legislation that acknowledges all the characteristics of trafficking is crucial to protecting the vulnerable.”
View the open letter here.