WikiLeaks reveals Pinays trafficked to Malaysia | Inquirer News

WikiLeaks reveals Pinays trafficked to Malaysia

Thousands of women from the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, as well as China and India, were trafficked to Malaysia for commercial sexual exploitation or domestic slavery, according to an unclassified 2006 cable from the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur that was released by WikiLeaks, the online whistleblower.

In a March 3, 2006, memo to the US Department of State, then US Ambassador to Malaysia Christopher LaFleur also reported that the Southeast Asian country was a “destination and—to a lesser extent—a transit country for men and women trafficked for forced labor.”

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“Some economic migrants from countries in the region who work as domestic servants and laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors face exploitative conditions in Malaysia that meet the definition of involuntary servitude,” Lafleur disclosed.

In addition to women from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, “smaller numbers” of women from Cambodia, Burma and Laos were also trafficked to Malaysia, said LaFleur. All eight countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or Asean, of which Malaysia and Singapore are also part.

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“Anectodal evidence indicates that numbers of victims coming from neighboring Asean countries have remained relatively constant over the last few years. The number and patterns of victims coming from source countries tend to reflect Malaysian government immigration and visa policies,” the envoy pointed out.

According to LaFleur, China “has become the largest and fastest-growing source country for prostitutes in Malaysia. Many of these Chinese women and girls are likely trafficking victims.”

“China has grown as a source country in recent years due to a more liberal Malaysian visa policy that reflects growing economic ties and Malaysian government efforts to encourage tourism and university enrollment from Chinese students,” he explained.

LaFleur noted that “while there are no reliable statistics revealing the total number of women trafficked into (Malaysia), estimates can be made drawing from different sources.”

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TAGS: Commercial sexual exploitation, domestic slavery, Human trafficking, Malaysia, then US Ambassador to Malaysia Christopher LaFleur, WikiLeaks
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