Human Trafficking and Cyber Laws in Malaysia

Human Trafficking and Cyber Laws in Malaysia

Olivia Swee Leng Tan (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Rossanne Gale Vergara (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Raphael C. W. Phan (Multimedia University, Malaysia), Shereen Khan (Multimedia University, Malaysia), and Nasreen Khan (Multimedia University, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch035
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The era of digitalization is becoming more of a vehicle for exploitation and criminal activities. That said, transnational criminals are increasingly utilizing the darknet or deep web as a medium for human trafficking. Human trafficking is a global problem and the solution requires a comprehensive response to tackle this borderless crime. In the 2018 U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, Malaysia was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List. This article reviews the literature on human trafficking, the existing legislations, and their effectiveness in Malaysia to combat human trafficking in the internet and deep web. The article analyzes the existing policies, Malaysia laws and international laws, and instruments that are available to prevent and protect women, children, and migrant workers from being trafficked. This article will also suggest the necessary measures to prevent human trafficking in Malaysia.
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Human trafficking is often referred to as a modern form of slavery. Furthermore, it is considered a highly lucrative criminal activity and countries with large sex industries create the demand, supply and destination for trafficking in persons. Traffickers often target vulnerable women, children and migrants who seek for better employment and opportunities (Zimmerman & Kiss, 2017). Therefore, it is difficult to draw a line separating trafficking from free choice or voluntary illegal migration or prostitution. Malaysia is a source, transfer and destination country for a significant number of men, women, and children who are trafficked from Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, People's Republic of China, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan for sexual and labor exploitation (U.S. Department of State, 2018). Many victims voluntarily migrate to Malaysia to work in factories, construction and agricultural sectors, or as domestic servants, but are later coerced into debt bondage or involuntary servitude (U.S. Department of State, 2018). Currently, the technology growth and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been accompanied by an increase in exploitation and abuse of technology for criminal activities. With regard to cyberspace, the internet is increasingly used by transnational organized criminals for human trafficking (Voronova & Radjenovic, 2016). Trafficking in persons is an obvious form of organized crime that has been affected by the globalized revolution in ICT (Tan, Khan & Abdul Rahim, 2014). Illegal trafficking is not exclusive to sexual exploitation with respect to women or child trafficking, but also covers indentured servitude and child labor (Tan et al., 2014). ICTs such as using the internet and mobile phones are frequently used as a tool for human trafficking since internet control is almost borderless and convenient for human traffickers to operate the trafficking modus operandi (Toney-Butler & Mittel, 2018).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sexual Exploitation: Taking advantage of a person sexually for personal gain or make profit.

Smuggling of Migrants: The facilitating of illegal entry of a person into a country he or she is not a national or resident of.

Cyber Law: The legal system dealing with cyberspace and the internet.

Human Trafficking: Modern day slavery or illegal transporting of people typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation.

Trafficking in Persons: Human trafficking or the recruitment, transfer, transportation, or harboring of people by coercion or force, abduction, fraud, deception.

Deep Web: The hidden part of the web invisible to conventional search engines.

Darknet: The hidden computer network typically used for illegal trading and forums to include illicit activities such as human trafficking.

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