The Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons (TIP) held its regular engagement session with key stakeholders yesterday. The session was part of the Taskforce’s continual efforts to strengthen partnership as well as update our stakeholders on the progress of Singapore’s National Plan of Action against TIP.
2. More than 35 participants from local non-government organisations (NGOs), businesses, academia, and students from tertiary institutions attended the engagement session. Joining the session was Member of Parliament Mr Christopher de Souza who is spearheading efforts to enact dedicated TIP legislation in Singapore.
Progress of the National Plan of Action
3. In 2013, in line with the National Plan of Action1 roadmap, the Taskforce continued ramping up awareness and training of frontline officers and support staff across government agencies, enabling them to better detect and act on suspected TIP cases2. The Taskforce has also completed a review of existing TIP-related legislations, and identified a need for a dedicated TIP legislation to better deal with TIP offences and handle victim support. The Taskforce therefore fully supports the efforts by Mr de Souza in pushing a Private Member’s Bill on TIP as it is a positive step towards institutionalising the necessary processes to support victims and fight TIP.
4. During the engagement session, Mr de Souza and Taskforce members took the opportunity to share the objectives and focus areas of the proposed Bill and seek feedback. Participants expressed strong support for the effort and were encouraged by Singapore’s commitment to fight TIP.
Launch of the TIP Public Awareness Grant for 2014
5. The Taskforce also launched a second tranche of the TIP Public Awareness Grant at the engagement session. The grant, first launched in 2013, saw initiatives3 such as a labour trafficking seminar held on 10 January 2014 and two sessions of human trafficking education series for employment agencies held in 2013. In all, these seminars reached out to more than 160 participants.
6. In announcing this second launch, Mr Alvin Lim, co-chair of the Taskforce and Divisional Director of the Workplace Policy and Strategy Division at the Ministry of Manpower, said, “The support and efforts of the 2013 grant recipients has helped raise awareness about human trafficking. It has played a role in the reporting of suspected TIP crimes and has been critical for the support of a dedicated legislation to fight this transnational crime. We hope to see more individuals and organisations share their ideas and co-create solutions with us.”
7. Individuals and organisations can apply for the grant from 1 March 2014 to 30 April 20144.
Issued by Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking-in-Persons
1 For a copy of the National Plan of Action, please see: http://bit.ly/1h3w7Yy
2 Refer to Annex A for more information on the Taskforce’s key initiatives in 2013.
3 Refer to Annex B for more details on the initiatives run by the TIP Public Awareness Grant recipients in 2013.
4 For full information on the grant, refer to MOM’s website: www.mom.gov.sg/foreign-manpower/trafficking-in-persons