Mr. President,

I would like to commend you for convening this meeting.

2. Malaysia joins the international community in addressing the scourge of human trafficking. Malaysia condemns these heinous crimes, and accords the highest priority in combatting trafficking in persons. Malaysia is not only a transit and destination country for the victims of trafficking in persons but its citizens too has become targets.

3. It is because of these reasons that Malaysia has instituted adequate national laws, particularly the Penal Code and the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act 2007. As a consequence, convictions have increased substantially. Malaysia has also established the inter-ministerial Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants in 2007, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. Malaysia's efforts are also being guided by its National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking in Persons (2016-2020), which is consistent with the 2010 Global Plan of Action.

Mr. President,

4. Based on our record, the majority of human trafficking victims are from the neighbouring countries. In this regard, Malaysia places high premium on the centrality of bilateral and regional cooperation in combating this transnational crime. Malaysia has ratified, on 7 September 2017, the 2015 ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP). Malaysia is also an active member of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime - a regional mechanism and arrangement to combat the scourge.

5. Malaysia is determined based on the measures that have been in place to prosecute the perpetrators and provide protection to the victims. We believe in a comprehensive approach with greater emphasis on prevention, particularly addressing the root causes in the source countries.

Mr. President,

6. Given the unspeakable developments in Rakhine State, Malaysia is concerned that more than 400,000 Rohingyas currently seeking refuge in Bangladesh could become victims of human trafficking. The transnational crime syndicates will harvest human miseries on the sordid situation. Therefore, Malaysia strongly urges Myanmar to heed the repeated calls by the international community to end the violence against the Rohingyas.

Mr. President,

7. The solution to the complex issue of trafficking in persons requires collective efforts, by both state and non-state actors. In this regard, my delegation is of the view that the measures outlined in the Political Declaration serve as an excellent basis in steering the way forward. Malaysia, pledges our unwavering commitment to act decisively in our common quest to rid urgently the scourge of trafficking in persons. For the sake of humanity, we have no other choice but to prevail.

Thank you.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia