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Support victims’ rights – Sign our petition!

MP Mr Christopher De Souza has proposed a Private Member’s Bill dedicated to combating human trafficking which will be presented in parliament in November 2014. In conjunction with the proposed Bill, non-governmental organisations HOME, AWARE TWC2, Healthserve and MARUAH have jointly organized the StopTraffickingSG Campaign. Phase One of the campaign runs from July to December 2014. The key activity is submitting a parliamentary petition.

This petition urges the government to adopt a victim-centred approach in the drafting of the Bill on Prevention of Human Trafficking. The following terms specify the rights of victims that the petition hopes the Bill would achieve:
1. Victims have the right to accommodation, food, counseling services, legal aid, medical treatment, compensation and social support while their case is ongoing
2. Victims are not prosecuted for being an undocumented immigrant or for working ‘illegally’ or for any illegal immigration infractions inadvertently committed while being trafficked
3. Victims have the right to work and a decent income while their case is ongoing

StopTraffickingSG_Petition

StopTraffickingSG Petition Starter Kit_11 August 2014

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15 thoughts on “Support victims’ rights – Sign our petition!

  1. My biggest worry would be that the way MP Christopher de Souza tabled this is for the simple reason that Singapore is a NON-SIGNATORY to both the CEADW 1981 (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Singapore is considered as a nation included under accession meaning they refuse to sign the convention when given the opportunity to do so) as well as the larger IBHR 1976 (International Bill of Human Rights) under the United Nations itself. Having such petition would not carry much meaning UNTIL our sorry nation actually takes the steps to SIGN AND RATIFY these two International Treaties FIRST, and sad to say that our current PAP Government would not even bother contemplating such a move as this may shake their core vested interests, especially on the obvious as well as not-so-obvious ones that keeps them entrenched in power. Until there is a sea change in the attitudes of those who are able to do the right things and muster the necessary political will to get that done, I’m very afraid that whatever we do will not prevent us from stepping on the same spot however hard we try…

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    1. Thank you, Jonathan, for the critical analysis! We strongly urged our government to be a signatory to the Palermo Protocol and the treaties you have mentioned. Within the national legislation, there is still much that our government can do to combat trafficking. It starts with a victim-centric anti-trafficking law to empower victims to report their cases and assist in investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.

      The Prevention of Human Trafficking Act still falls short in this area and we will continue to petition the relevant authorities to amend the law.

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  2. This is terrible. No human being should be treated this way. No human being is a commodity! Couldn’t you make the wording a little stronger than “we pray”? Couldn’t you say, “we request”?

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    1. Thank you, Journette, for your comment and your support! The use of the word ‘pray’ is required by the Standing Order for a parliamentary petition in Singapore. It means request.

      Respecting the dignity of a person is at the core of a socially conscious society. No one should be treated any lesser.

      Liked by 1 person

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