Committed to fight against human trafficking

Woodlands Checkpoint.

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons is committed to the fight against trafficking in persons ("Issuing of tourist visas too lax?" by Ms Ada Chan Siew Foen, Feb 18; and "Sex workers need to be protected" by Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao, Sunday).

Recognising that trafficking in persons is a cross-border crime, our front-line officers at the borders and checkpoints will look out for any suspected cases. The Taskforce has also been constantly strengthening our detection and enforcement processes.

For instance, last year, the Taskforce ramped up the training of front-line officers and support staff across government agencies, so that they are familiar with the procedures and case management approach to accurately detect and act upon trafficking-in-persons cases.

Enforcement officers were also sent to related courses and programmes organised by the various international bodies. These programmes served as platforms for the sharing of regional and global trends in legislative developments and best anti-trafficking-in-persons practices.

They also provided opportunities to network and collaborate with regional law enforcement agencies in fighting such crimes.

In February last year, the Singapore Police Force set up a dedicated specialist sex trafficking team to proactively detect sex trafficking syndicates through enhanced enforcement efforts.

At the same time, the Taskforce is working closely with Mr Christopher de Souza on his Private Member's Bill on the Prevention of Human Trafficking, to better detect cases, support victims and prosecute offenders.

Anyone with information on suspected cases should report them to the police at any police station, through police hotlines or by sending an e-mail to SPF-Report-Trafficking@spf.gov.sg

The Taskforce will continue its efforts in fighting trafficking in persons and deter such crimes from taking root in Singapore.

Ng Yeow Boon

Senior Director

Joint Operations Division Ministry of Home Affairs

Co-chair of Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.