The ninth annual Department of State Trafficking in Persons report, announced on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 at 9:15 a.m. in the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin Room by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The surprise of this report is Malaysia included in the list of countries that support modern-day slavery and slavery-related practices issued by the United States Department of State. Thus then Malaysia threatened will not get assistance from that uncle Sam country, and could face sanctions such as the withholding of non-humanitarian, non-trade related US aid.
In addition to Malaysia, there are still 16 countries that included in this list, among others Chad, Nigeria, Mauritania, and Zimbabwe. These countries are considered as the most serious offender, that do nothing to stop human trafficking.
In the report also mentioned that Cuba, Myanmar, and North Korea already ranks in the bottom of the list since nine years ago.
According to the U.S. department of foreign affairs, millions of people living in cuffs, and global financial crisis made that vulnerable conditions triggered the increasing of human trafficking and commercialization of sex.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in releasing the 2009 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, "Economic pressure, especially in the global economic crisis, makes more people susceptible to the false promises of traffickers,"
"Trafficking has a broad global impact as well. It weakens legitimate economies, fuels violence, threatens public health and safety, shatters families, and shreds the social fabric that is necessary for progress," Hillary Clinton told a news conference.
According to the data from International Labour Organisation (ILO), approximately 12.3 million adults and children trapped in slavery, and 1.4 million of them become victims of sex trafficking.
Hillary Clinton also said, "They labour in fields and factories, under brutal employers who threaten them with violence if they try to escape. They work in homes for families that keep them virtually imprisoned. they are forced to work as prostitutes or to beg in the streets, fearful of the consequences if they fail to earn their daily quota."
U.S. accusations against Malaysia was to get evidence when a number of Indonesian women to be victims of maltreatment from employers in that neighboring countries. The latter is Siti Hajar, Indonesian citizens who have experienced trauma because employers tortured.
Malaysia been included in the list in 2007, but revoked in 2008.In response to the report, Malaysian Minister of Home Affairs Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein says government will ask an explanation from the U.S. "We will do whatever it takes, whatever possible, but of course, there are limitations," Hishammuddin told reporters.
"You know our border, our shore line is very porous," he said. "If they are realistic about it, then they will take that into consideration. But otherwise I feel that making judgments on something that is beyond our control will be unfair."