“Singapore has an integrated support system. Victims can approach multiple access points, such as the police or Family Service Centres, for help” http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/only-a-minority-of-labour/1437834.html
We were curious to learn of the ‘multiple access points’ for victims of trafficking. A quick check of the Ministry of Family Service website and the Family Service Centres websites reveals NO mention of the word ‘trafficking’ or services for trafficked victims including hotlines to call or addresses to approach for help.
Equally curious, frontline organisations that handle trafficked cases like HOME and TWC2 are not mentioned.
The most worrying issue, however, is a continual misconception that trafficked victims can easily turn up at Family Service Centres and police to ask for help. The reality is many trafficked victims are hampered by
(a) language barriers,
(b) distrust of authorities,
(c) their fear of being arrested and prosecuted as undocumented migrants or for working illegally as a result of being trafficked,
(d) the stigma and shame attached to sex work makes many women, and possibly men or boys reluctant to report it. Engaging in sex work can lead to arrests and prosecutions. Police raids at red light districts may intimidate trafficked victims and make them reluctant to give information about their situation.
(e) Fear of reprisals, indebtedness and threats from recruiters also silences them into submission.
In the absence of a victim centered anti-trafficking in persons law, and comprehensive social support services, it is even more difficult to encourage trafficked victims to be willing to be identified. #stoptraffickingsg