Human Trafficking in Singapore
Gone are the days where people are trafficked across borders in shipping containers, bound by chains. These days, many of them enter a country legally with valid documents approved by the immigration authorities, without realising that all they had believed to be true was nothing but a well-thought-out ploy by criminal syndicates to deceive and exploit them.
Human trafficking affects every country in the world, and Singapore is not spared. With a booming economy, Singapore is a destination country for traffickers who exploit men, women and girls from Asian countries for sex trafficking and labour exploitation. A popular transit country, many Cambodian and Filipino men are subjected to forced labour on fishing vessels that transit through Singapore or its territorial waters.
Most victims migrate willingly for work in construction, domestic service, performing arts, manufacturing and the service industry, but find themselves forced into sexual or labour exploitation through illegal withholding of their pay, threats of forced repatriation without pay, restrictions of movement and communications, confiscation of passport, lack of a weekly rest day, and physical or sexual threats and abuse.
Committed to combat this heinous crime, the Singapore government formed an Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons in 2010 to coordinate efforts in tackling trafficking that focuses on four key aspects – Prevention, Prosecution, Protection and Partnership. And in 2015, the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act was enacted to prosecute these criminal offences and protect victims and informers. But more needs to be done to combat human trafficking than ever. Particularly, with the growing economic uncertainty and increasing civil conflict, many people will risk their lives in hopes of a better future for themselves and their family, making themselves vulnerable to such exploitation.
Responding to the critical needs of women who have been trafficked to Singapore for sexual and labour exploitation, Hagar started a Trauma Recovery and Resettlement programme in 2015 to help these women recover from trauma and find their way back to freedom and dignity.
Join us in our efforts to stamp out human trafficking in Singapore! Start today by empowering a survivor, recognising the signs of victimisation or spreading the word to rally support.