SINGAPORE - In response to media queries on Mr Christopher de Souza's plan to introduce a Private Member's Bill on human trafficking, the Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons issued the following statement:
"Mr Christopher de Souza has announced in Parliament today that he intends to propose a Private Member's Bill on Trafficking in Persons. We welcome his joining in the effort to develop a dedicated legal framework in this area.
Since the set-up of the Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) in 2010, we have been reviewing legislation related to TIP to examine how a dedicated legislative framework can help in the fight against TIP. In our review and engagements with stakeholders, including Non-Governmental Organisations, Civil Society Organisations and the public, the Taskforce has also identified the need for a dedicated anti-TIP legal framework in Singapore.
A dedicated TIP legal framework will enable us to deal with the many facets of TIP more comprehensively and holistically. It will also provides a framework for appropriate penalties that fully reflect the severity of TIP offences.
The Inter-Agency Taskforce will fully support Mr de Souza in his work and co-develop the proposed Bill with him. In this regard, the Taskforce will take reference from other jurisdictions and international conventions, and adapt what is relevant for us. This effort reflects Singapore's commitment to fight the global scourge of TIP."