US human trafficking report 'continues to present inaccuracies': Singapore

SINGAPORE - The statement by the Singapore Inter-agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) added that this is because the report by the US Department of State did not take into account Singapore's laws.

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Here is the press release from Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons:

The Singapore Inter-agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons (TIP) has reviewed the US Department of State (DOS)'s TIP Report 2013.

While the DOS TIP Report has generally captured Singapore's key TIP efforts, we note that it continues to present inaccuracies and misrepresentations that have arisen from the lack of an objective methodology to take into account laws and domestic context in other countries that are different from the United States.

Singapore remains fully committed in our fight against TIP as we believe that this is the right thing to do to safeguard bona fide victims who fall prey to the scourge. This was our impetus to set up a dedicated Taskforce to coordinate a national effort against TIP, and the subsequent launch of a National Plan of Action (NPA) in 2012.

Key achievements in the past year

Singapore's NPA, which was developed in consultation with our partners, adopted a "4P" strategy to proactively combat TIP: Prevention, Prosecution, Protection and Partnership.

Our efforts for 2012 had been guided by the initiatives laid out in the NPA and we were able to achieve all that we set out according to the schedule.

Specifically, this includes securing a dedicated budget to fund various TIP initiatives, strengthening inter-agency coordination and heightening awareness of TIP amongst Government officials, workers and members of the public.

The Taskforce has increased the number of frontline officers and has sharpened their enforcement capabilities through training. We have also further enhanced our internal referral processes between enforcement agencies to expedite investigations.

The emphases on training and referral processes are important as they create a strong foundation that empowers our frontline officers to accurately detect and swiftly deal with TIP cases in the pursuit of justice.

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