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Street Children

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                           


Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. After coming to office in 2003, former Prime Minister Abdullah tried to move the economy farther up the value-added production chain by attracting investments in high technology industries, medical technology, and pharmaceuticals. The Government of Malaysia is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand to wean the economy off of its dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports - particularly of electronics - remain a significant driver of the economy.

Description: Description: Description: Malaysia

Real GDP growth averaged about 6% per year under Abdullah, but regions outside of Kuala Lumpur and the manufacturing hub Penang did not fare as well.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. Malaysia is mainly a destination country for men, women, and children who migrate willingly from Indonesia, Nepal, Thailand, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Vietnam for work – usually legal, contractual labor – and are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in the domestic, agricultural, food service, construction, plantation, industrial, and fisheries sectors. Some foreign women and girls are also victims of commercial sexual exploitation.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Malaysia.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

Tenaganita (NGO), in cooperation with the police

03 2697 3671

Country code: 60-



Kin of human trafficking victims seek Government intervention

Asian News International ANI, Kendrapara Orissa, June 10, 2007

[accessed 20 February 2011]

"Our brothers (in Malaysia) are being tortured by their employers. They get meals only once a day and are made to work for more then 12 hours a day," Behra added.

A Bhubaneswar-based placement agency lured seven youths of Kendrapara District's Mangalpur and Raghunathpur villages with an offer of lucrative job at Omega Wood Industry in Kuala Lumpur.  The youths also paid the placement agency over 100,000 rupees for a job in Malaysia.

The moment they landed in Kuala Lumpur on January 10, their passports and visas were snatched by a member of the placement agency.  They were then taken to the jungles. But instead of getting an office job, they were forced to do physical labour and were kept in inhuman conditions.

Migrant Worker’s Death Exposes Slave-like Conditions

Anil Netto, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Kuala Lumpur, 8 May 2007

[accessed 8 September 2011]

[accessed 3 September 2016]

Ganesh was reportedly subjected to daily beatings, deprived of food and sufficient rest, and chained and locked in a dark room. He was eventually dumped in a wooded area, but was found by villagers who sent him to hospital. He succumbed to his injuries on Apr. 27. Pictures of his gaunt face, the horrendous bruises on his back and his protruding rib cage shocked Malaysians. In hospital, he was little more than a bag of blistered skin and bones.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human trafficking: Four more enforcement agency officers picked up

[Catagories – Official Complicity, Smuggling]

Remar Nordin, Johor Baru, The Star, 24 June 2020

[accessed 24 June 2020]

Comm Ayob added that the suspects' modus operandi was to provide entry and exit stamps, believed to be fake, to help immigrants whose travel passes had expired for more than a year during the restricted movement control order (MCO).

“They could not get out through the illegal way because we managed to block their exit with the arrest of 18 enforcement personnel earlier this month, so they tried the legal route.

“The immigrants were required to pay between RM1,500 to RM2,500 per person, ” he said, adding that their exit process would be handled by the corrupt officers.

 Trafficking Still A Problem In Malaysia

The ASEAN Post Team, 5 April 2020

[accessed 5 April 2020]

ECPAT International, formerly known as End Child Prostitution and Trafficking, released a report entitled ‘Sex Trafficking of Children in Malaysia’. In that 2016 report, ECPAT noted that Malaysian children and women were trafficked to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Canada, US, Europe and Australia for prostitution. But these children weren’t just trafficked overseas as the report also stated that girls from indigenous groups and rural areas in Malaysia were also internally trafficked for the same purposes.

 “The demand for sex drives child sex trafficking globally while poverty, domestic violence and abuse, discrimination and the desire for a better life makes children vulnerable. Children are especially vulnerable to being trafficked because they are often uneducated, easy to overpower and easy to convince. Children may also be in a position where they feel they must help to support their families and may be sold or sent abroad by family members to do so.

Slavery in Malaysia

Sheith Khidhir, The Asean Post, 26 August 2019

[accessed 27 August 2019]

Back in 2015, mass graves of people believed to be Rohingya who were victims of human trafficking were discovered in the jungles north of Wang Kelian in an area called Wang Berma. Wang Kelian is a village in Perlis, a state in northern Malaysia and is located on the Malaysia-Thailand Border.

Reports stated that as many as 139 graves and 29 illegal detention camps were discovered during operations carried out by the Malaysian police. Conflicting reports have emerged as to when the Malaysian police had knowledge of the camps and accusations of an alleged cover up by the police have also been made as reports emerged that the camps were destroyed before investigations were completed.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Malaysia

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 15 June 2021]


A variety of sources reported occurrences of forced labor or conditions indicative of forced labor in plantation agriculture, electronics factories, garment production, rubber-product industries, and domestic service among both adults and children (also see section 7.c.).

Employers, employment agents, and labor recruiters subjected some migrants to forced labor or debt bondage. Many companies hired foreign workers using recruiting or outsourcing companies, creating uncertainty about the legal relationship between the worker, the outsourcing company, and the owner of the workplace, making workers more vulnerable to exploitation and complicating dispute resolution. Labor union representatives noted that recruiting agents in the countries of origin and in Malaysia sometimes imposed high fees, making migrant workers vulnerable to debt bondage.

Nonpayment of wages remained a concern. Passport confiscation by employers increased migrant workers’ vulnerability to forced labor; the practice was illegal but widespread and generally went unpunished. Migrant workers without access to their passports were more vulnerable to harsh working conditions, lower wages than promised, unexpected wage deductions, and poor housing. NGOs reported that agents or employers in some cases drafted contracts that included a provision for employees to sign over the right to hold their passports to the employer or an agent


Child labor occurred in some family businesses. Child labor in urban areas was common in the informal economy, including family food businesses and night markets, and in small-scale industry. Child labor was also evident among migrant domestic workers.

NGOs reported that stateless children in Sabah were especially vulnerable to labor exploitation in palm oil production, forced begging, and work in service industries, including restaurants. Although the National Union of Plantation Workers reported it was rare to find children involved in plantation work in peninsular Malaysia, others reported instances of child labor on palm oil plantations across the country.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 3 May 2020]


Rural residents and foreign workers, especially those working illegally, are vulnerable to exploitative or abusive working conditions, including forced labor or debt bondage. Foreign workers make up over a fifth of the country’s workforce; about two million are documented, and estimates of the undocumented range from one million to more than three million. The authorities’ periodic crackdowns on illegal foreign workers can result in punishment rather than protection for victims of human trafficking.

There have been no convictions of Malaysians for involvement in a network of human trafficking camps along the Thai-Malaysian border since the sites were discovered in 2015. The camps included mass graves holding the bodies of dozens of victims, and corrupt Malaysian officials were thought to have been complicit in the operation.

Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage

Chris Buckley and Ellen Barry, International N.Y. Times, Gelugor, Malaysia, 2 Aug 2015

[accessed 3 August 2015]

The young woman had been penned in a camp in the sweltering jungle of southern Thailand for two months when she was offered a deal.

She fled Myanmar this year hoping to reach safety in Malaysia, after anti-Muslim rioters burned her village. But her family could not afford the $1,260 the smugglers demanded to complete the journey.

She joined the hundreds of young Rohingya women from Myanmar sold into marriage to Rohingya men already in Malaysia as the price of escaping violence and poverty in their homeland.

While some Rohingya women agree to such marriages to escape imprisonment or worse at the hands of smugglers, others are tricked or coerced. Some are only teenagers.

Myth 1 - After the Brothel

Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times, Poipet Cambodia, January 26, 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[accessed 12 June 2017]

The traffickers who were supposed to get her and four female friends jobs as dishwashers smuggled them instead to Kuala Lumpur where three of them were locked up in a karaoke lounge that operated as a brothel and ordered to have sex with customers.  The girls were forced to work in the brothel 15 hours a day, seven days a week, and they were never paid or allowed outside. Nor were they allowed to insist that customers use condoms.  They were warned that if they tried to escape they could be murdered.

Exploitation of Bangladeshis in Malaysia - HR activist terms it human trafficking

The Daily Star, April 11, 2009

[accessed 20 February 2011]

The exploitative practices centring Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia constitute nothing other than human trafficking; the governments of Bangladesh and Malaysia have not been able to protect the workers' rights, said Irene Fernandez, a veteran migrants' rights activist of Malaysia.

When they brought workers in surplus numbers to Malaysia, they were only interested in making fast cash. The outsourcing companies told Bangladeshi job brokers 'you pay me 500 ringgit per worker and find jobs for them and do whatever'. So, Bangladeshi job brokers then bought the workers from the outsourcing companies, and literally made them slaves. The brokers then told the workers 'you go and work, I will give you food and lodging'. And the workers were put to work for two, three, or four months. So, the contract that had been signed between the workers and recruiting agencies in Bangladesh, which was attested by the Bangladesh government, had no meaning any more.

The question is now, why no action is being taken against the Malaysian outsourcing companies for the fact that they violated the contracts. Again, the governments of both countries have not been able to enforce the rules. Malaysia has to make its companies accountable, and Bangladesh has to make its recruiting agencies accountable. Because the passports of the workers are being held and the workers who don't have any job are being locked up by the job brokers or the outsourcing companies, it constitutes nothing but human trafficking. And, with the global economic recession, the situation is going to worsen, because many of the companies, particularly in the manufacturing sector, are collapsing.

Defrauded labourers return from Malaysia

Xin Dingding, China Daily, 2004-01-19

[accessed 23 April  2012]

They supposed to go to work at construction sites and had their passports taken by their employers. After nearly 20 days, they found out they not only earned little money, but faced possible punishment if caught by police, since local laws ban people from working without a permit in Malaysia.

No Sanctuary: Trafficking of Burmese people at the ThaiMalay Border

Elaine Pearson, Special to The Nation, February 13, 2009

[accessed 28 August 2014]

[accessed 5 February 2018]

Last year, Human Rights Watch interviewed two dozen undocumented Burmese, including Rohingya, who described how Malaysian officials apprehended them during raids, kept them in detention centres, and then dumped them at the Thai border, often directly into the hands of waiting criminal gangs. Many of the Burmese I spoke with said that Malaysian immigration officials accompanying the deportees called the gangs en route to arrange where and when to deposit their human cargo.

Deportees with money can pay smugglers to return them to Malaysia undetected. But those without money usually fall into the hands of traffickers. One Burmese woman told me, "If we don't pay we will be killed, or sold, or forced to marry unknown men."

A Burmese man described how he was deported to the border with 50 other Burmese. Only 10 could pay their way out. Traffickers sold the rest: "The gang said they will send you to work on fishing boats or rubber plantations. Some who tried to escape were shot and killed." Local activists call it a "revolving door of abuse".

Take trafficking of refugees seriously

Alice Nah, The Malaysian Insider, January 22, 2009

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[accessed 3 May 2020]

Last week, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee drew attention to the trafficking of migrants and refugees at the Malaysia-Thai border. They highlighted the shocking fact that Malaysian law enforcement officials are complicit in the “sale” of people to human smugglers/traffickers.

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE BORDER? - Deportees who have returned to Malaysia describe that they are brought from immigration detention depots to locations at the border under guard and in handcuffs in vehicles. When they disembark, they are forced to walk into areas guarded by human smugglers/traffickers. They have no way of escape. They are caught and kept under armed surveillance in confined, crowded and isolated locations, often deep in the jungle. Some women are raped repeatedly.   They are given handphones and instructed to contact family/friends to raise money for their release; they are beaten and threatened into submission. Prices vary between RM1,400 and RM2,500. Some who have dared to question why prices are so high have been told that this covers the amount paid to immigration officials. They are told to deposit the money into specific bank accounts. Once the money is deposited, they are brought in cars to designated locations and released. It costs more to be sent back to Malaysia; some are released in Thailand.   Those who are unable to pay are sold — men to work on fishing boats and plantations, and women to brothels or “private owners” who keep them in servitude for sex and/or forced labour. Those who have been forced to work on boats tell harrowing tales of having seen fellow workers shot and thrown overboard if they protest.

Anti-Trafficking Law Rescues 33 Victims Of Human Trafficking

Malaysian National News Agency, Kuala Lumpur, June 3, 2008

[accessed 28 August 2014]

Two of the victims were Thai women, aged 25 and 27, smuggled into the country by a Malaysian who had since been prosecuted, with the two women turning up as key witnesses, he said.

One of the significant problems was distinguishing between genuinely trafficked victims and those involved in so-called "self-trafficking" or "voluntary trafficking", he said.

Chor said many foreign women who had been arrested or rescued from prostitution claimed to be victims of trafficking.  "However, further investigation revealed that many had entered the country on their own accord for economic gain," he said.

US Senate 'Trafficking of Burmese Migrants' Report Holds Malaysia and ASEAN Responsible and Demands Immediate Action

Press Statement by Charles Santiago in Klang, Member of Parliament,24 April 2009

[accessed 28 August 2014]

[accessed 3 May 2020]

The report suggests that Malaysian authorities are in cohorts with human traffickers in Southern Thailand:   “Burmese migrants are reportedly taken by Malaysian Government personnel from detention facilities to the Malaysia-Thailand border for deportation. Upon arrival at the Malaysia-Thailand border, human traffickers reportedly take possession of the migrants and issue ransom demands on an individual basis. Migrants state that freedom is possible only once money demands are met. Specific payment procedures are outlined, which reportedly include bank accounts in Kuala Lumpur to which money should be transferred. The committee was informed that on some occasions, the ‘‘attendance’’ list reviewed by traffickers along the border was identical to the attendance list read prior to departure from the Malaysian detention facilities.   Migrants state that those unable to pay are turned over to human peddlers in Thailand, representing a variety of business interests ranging from fishing boats to brothels.

Human Traffickers Get Free Rein with Burmese Migrants in Malaysia

Kyaw Min Htun, Radio Free Asia, Baling Malaysia, February 8, 2008

[accessed 20 February 2011]

Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia live at the mercy of international human-trafficking gangs who sell them back and forth as slave labor with the full knowledge of Malaysian and Thai immigration officials, RFA's Burmese service reports.  Thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Burmese find themselves stuck in a human rights no-man’s-land after losing their legal status, often because employers withhold passports or refuse to pay their return airfares.

Several secret jails or deportation camps exist around the country to hold foreign nationals found without papers. From there, officials take them to the Thai border, where trafficking gangs have close ties to Malaysian officials and have been tipped off to their arrival.

Malaysia, Viet Nam police to investigate human trafficking

Viet Nam News, Kuala Lampur, 4 Feb 2008

[accessed 28 August 2014]

Malaysian Deputy Inspector-General of Police Ismail Omar said that scores of young women from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region in Viet Nam had been enticed by promises of well-paid work as waitresses in Malaysia.  The trafficking ring allegedly organised their passports and flight tickets and then forced them into prostitution.  If they refused, they were locked up, beaten and starved, according to the report.

Ex-US Marine leads rescue of Pinays held in Malaysia

Lito Katigbak, Manila Mail, Washington DC, August 31, 2007

[accessed 28 August 2014]

Ejercito wanted to work as a nurse in the US but failed a test that is a requirement for obtaining a license to practice nursing in the US.  She then took what she thought was a legitimate job as a hotel singer in Penang, Malaysia, but when she got there her passport was taken from her. And so began her three-week ordeal.  Hansen said Ejercito was forced to sign an eight-year “contract” spelling out how much she owed her traffickers. Experts call this “debt-bondage.”

US may alienate Muslims over human trade -Malaysia

Jalil Hamid, Reuters-Africa, Kuala Lumpur, 2 Jul 2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

Still, Indonesia and other countries that supply most of the workers say Malaysia has not done enough.

With Malaysians reluctant to take up menial jobs, the country is one of Asia's largest importers of foreign labour, which makes up a quarter of a workforce of about 10.5 million, particularly on plantations, in construction and as maids.  Malaysians got a harrowing glimpse into the treatment of some domestic workers when newspapers reported the death in April of an Indian migrant worker after eight months of being beaten, chained up and starved by his employers in a sauce business.

No Whipping For Human Trafficking Offenders [PDF]

Malaysian National News Agency, Kuala Lumpur, 24 May 2007

[Last accessed 20 February 2011 – Access is now restricted]

The government does not plan to introduce whipping for human trafficking offenders as it is not in line with international laws that seek to abolish corporal punishment, the Dewan Negara heard today.  "We will only extend the jail term in accordance with what the United Nations (UN) wants," said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz when winding-up the debate on the Anti-Human Trafficking Bill 2007.

Suppressing human trafficking

Tan Choe Choe, New Straits Times, 04-29-2007

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

There are more than 800,000 people being trafficked — for sexual exploitation, forced labour, begging — across international borders each year. In June 2006, 19 Malaysian women were rescued from brothels in Britain which involved a multi-million ringgit human trafficking syndicate.

The number of trafficked women rescued in Malaysia stood at 371 between 2004 and last year, but this could be the tip of the iceberg. The situation is not alarming. The proposed Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill is our preventive measure.

But we recognise that if we don’t control the situation now, Malaysia may become a trafficking hotspot. This is because of it being one of the most economically dynamic countries in the region.

Malaysia Reconceptualizes its Assumptions about Human Trafficking, May 17, 2007 -- Adapted from: "Foreign Workers also Victims of Human Trafficking." The New Star Online.  27 April 2007

[accessed 20 February 2011]

Human trafficking is not only confined to vice activities. Hundreds of foreign workers who are duped by agents and brought into the country are also victims of human trafficking.

The agents would then sell the workers or outsource them to employers who need them.  Last year, MTUC received 400 complaints of foreign workers here who are being oppressed by their employers.  Rajasekaran said the numbers could be higher as they believe for every reported case, there were between 10 and 20 cases that go unreported. "These are workers who are brought here but left stranded without jobs for months. There are also cases of workers not being paid for months. They are afraid to go to the authorities as their travel documents are being held by the employers.

US Official Urges Indonesia to Crack Down on Human Trafficking

Voice of America VOA News, November 4, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

[scroll down+]

On Saturday, at a crisis center in Jakarta run by the International Organization for Migration, Miller met with dozens of Indonesians who were forced to work in neighboring Malaysia. He also spoke to reporters.  "They tell of agents here deceiving them, of employers over there working them 15, 18 hours a day, of being beaten, of having their stomachs stomped on. This is something we must all work together to stop," he said.

Miller says Indonesians are particularly vulnerable to human traffickers because of the country's poverty, widespread slavery rings, and lack of law enforcement due to corruption.

Human trafficking ring busted

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Jakarta, 17 August 2006

[accessed 20 February 2011]

The victims, aged 14 to 17, were promised jobs in Jakarta as domestic workers, but were then flown to West Kalimantan province on the Indonesian side of Borneo and taken across the border into Malaysia, sometimes using false travel documents. - htcp

Khmer girls' trafficking ordeal

Kylie Morris, BBC News, Thai-Cambodian border, 2 June, 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

LOOKING FOR CASH - She and her cousin were 16 years old when they decided, against their family's wishes, to travel to Bangkok. The New Year was approaching, and they wanted some extra cash for the festive season.  A neighbour had told them they could make good money washing dishes in a restaurant in the Thai capital.  They were smuggled across the border in the back of a pick-up truck, covered by a tarpaulin. When they finally reached the capital, they were taken to an apartment. But they soon realised something was wrong.  One explained: "A businessman arrived at our apartment and asked us to open our clothes, because he wanted to look at our bodies. He asked if I had a husband. That's when I knew we weren't going to work in a restaurant.

"At first I refused to have sex with men. Then I was beaten so badly I had to hide my face for a month, until it healed. Then I was told again I would have to sleep with the customers. I knew if I refused I would be beaten again. I had no choice but to agree." - htcp

Asia Sex Traffic Case UN Hails Stunning Success

Press Release: United Nations, 10 March 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

The prosecution rested on the testimony of eight Cambodian women, who left their home village believing they would be offered work as noodle and clothes sellers in Bangkok. Instead, they were held in Samut Prakan before being sold into a Malaysian brothel.

Malaysia Detains Officials On Human Trafficking Allegations [DOC]

Agence France-Presse AFP, Kuala Lumpur, 12 February 2005

[accessed 7 July 2013]

Officials were caught because they were issuing permanent resident identity cards to foreigners," Azmi said.  The newspaper said police had also seized 150 identity cards, including new ones with hi-tech microchip security features, from foreigners.

Report Reveals Horrors of Foreign Sex-Slaves

Baradan Kuppusamy, Inter Press Service News Agency IPS, Kuala Lumpur, February 2, 2005

[accessed 7 July 2013]

"We were hired as maids but on arrival tricked and forced into prostitution. We were held as sex slaves and forced to service numerous clients," they said.

Anti-Trafficking Laws Needed

28 January 2005 -- Source:

[accessed 7 July 2013]

Suhakam said often foreign women were arrested but the “masterminds” or “Johns” were let off easily because of the absence of an anti-trafficking law. Suhakam recommends that once there is clear evidence that the women were trafficked, smuggled or cheated into prostitution, they should be sent back home instead of being made to languish in prison.

Women’s Groups Back New Laws Against Traffickers

The Star, Petaling Jaya, 1 February 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

The women, who said they were drawn to Malaysia because of job offers but were forced into prostitution, had been detained as they were required to appear as witnesses in court against their “employers.”  Josiah said proper shelters should be set up to help women trafficked in Malaysia.  “These women are already traumatized and placing them in detention centers will worsen the situation.

Help Wanted - Background

Human Rights Watch, July 21, 2004

[accessed 20 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING - Trafficking victims in Malaysia have little hope of receiving protection or aid from the Malaysian authorities, including services or remedies through the justice system.  Despite a revision of the penal code in Malaysia, trafficking victims are often treated without distinction from undocumented migrants, meaning they may be detained, fined, and deported without any access to services or redress.  There are few shelters and services for the victims of trafficking who are identified, and many are repatriated without pursuing criminal or civil cases because of the time, expense, and bureaucracy involved.

Help Wanted - Workplace Abuses in Malaysia

Human Rights Watch, July 21, 2004

[accessed 20 February 2011]

HOURS OF WORK, REST DAYS, AND WORKLOAD - Indonesian domestic workers employed in Malaysia typically work sixteen to eighteen hour days, seven days a week, without any holidays.  Most have no significant time to rest during the day, although some are able to take one-hour breaks in the afternoon.  Indonesian domestic workers who cared for children in addition to their cleaning responsibilities reported being “on call” around the clock, as in the case of Susanti, who told Human Rights Watch.

TRAFFICKING INTO FORCED LABOR - I was surprised because I had to do housework and then make soya bean drink also.  The first employers were cruel….  I had to do my work in a hurry, clean the bed, clean the furniture, make soya bean drink from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., then go to the market to sell from 1:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  I had no rest day, and when I got home at 11:00 p.m., I had to clean the clothes and then iron.  I slept at 1:00 a.m.

Disappearing into the underworld

Jeswant Kaur, 18 April 2004 -- Source:

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 8 September 2011]

THE LINK BETWEEN MISSING PERSONS AND TRAFFICKING - “In Malaysia, not only are the laws on trafficking scattered, the statistics are not uniform. The police have their own figures, while the Immigration Department has its own data. This polarity only makes the problem worse,”

IOM launches initiative to combat human trafficking

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks IRIN, Islamabad, 16 March 2004

[accessed 9 March 2015]

In 2002, police recovered 11 infants - the oldest barely 18 months - from a middle-class Karachi suburb where the kidnappers were making preparations to smuggle the babies to Malaysia for a reported price tag of US $20,000 each.  Such children, according to social workers and law-enforcement officials, often end up being sold into prostitution or crime rings; or end up as camel-jockeys in the Middle East.


Scalabrini Migration Center, Asian Migration News

[accessed 20 February 2011]

TRAFFICKING - In Jambi province, there are reports that some 100 children, aged 12 to 15 years, are being trafficked annually into the sex trade in various cities, and sometimes in Malaysia and Singapore.

Maid abuse case shocks Malaysia

BBC News, 20 May 2004

[accessed 20 February 2011]

An Indonesian maid has told a harrowing story of how she was repeatedly burnt with an iron and scalded with boiling water by her Malaysian employer's wife.

The Elimination of Trafficking in Persons in Indonesia [PDF]

Republic Of Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare, Jakarta, 2005

[accessed 20 February 2011]

[page 29]

VICTIM RETURN AND REPATRIATION - A report made by the Task Force of the Coordination Team for the Return of Indonesian Migrant Workers (TKI) with Problems and Their Families from Malaysia (Satgas TKPTKIB), indicated that the policy that nationals of ASEAN countries do not need to apply for tourist or visit visas when they visit the ASEAN countries has been abused by irresponsible people who manipulate the facility and use them to send Indonesian nationals to Malaysia to work there. The absence of the working visas have caused many of them suffer exploitation in forms of passport withholding, low wages, illegal confinement, even inhumane treatment. This is because when their visiting visas have expired, the TKIs become illegal aliens as they have overstayed, and the status have made them more vulnerable to exploitation.

Girls from China tricked into forced prostitution in Malaysia

Agence France-Presse AFP, Kuala Lumpur, January 23, 2003

[accessed 23 April 2012]

An increasing number of naive young girls from China are being tricked into forced prostitution in Malaysia, according to a local organisation which is regularly called to their rescue.  They are lured to Malaysia by the promise of well-paid jobs in factories and restaurants, says Michael Chong, head of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) public service and complaints department.  Syndicates in China place advertisements in newspapers offering salaries of up to 1,000 dollars a month, he told AFP.


Freedom House Country Report

2018 Edition

[accessed 3 May 2020]


The trafficking of men, women, and children for the purpose of forced labor or sex work remains a problem, but authorities have recently made some efforts to address the issue, as reflected by an increase in trafficking prosecutions and convictions.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 10 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Foreign trafficking victims were kept compliant through involuntary confinement, confiscation of travel documents, debt bondage, and physical abuse. During the year there were reports of foreign women escaping from apartments where they were held and forced to serve as unwilling prostitutes. According to news reports, these women said that they were lured to the country by promises of legitimate employment but forced into prostitution upon their arrival in the country. In September authorities rescued eight trafficked Indonesian women forced to work as prostitutes in conditions intended to make them pregnant. According to a senior police official, their babies were sold soon after birth by the traffickers.

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