Analysis of anti-human trafficking bill begins at Assembly

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Issue 315, Page 2
Word count: 252
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The First Standing Committee, following the Legislative Assembly’s unanimous vote in February, started discussion on the “Combat Human Trafficking Crimes” bill yesterday with a goal to penalise such kinds of offences in which victims were being smuggled from outside Macau.

At present, human trafficking is being regulated under the “Organised Crime Law” which only oversees crimes that persons are being smuggled from Macau to any other place in the world.

But according to the president of the First Standing Committee, Kwan Tsui Hang, the current law could not fully deal with the situation of Macau as “most of the human trafficking cases occurring here involved non-local victims who were illegally transported from other places into the SAR”.

The new bill against human trafficking thus was set out in order to regulate foreign human trafficking activities that took place in Macau as well as Macau people who committed such crimes in foreign jurisdictions, Ms Kwan said, adding lawmakers did support the move during the plenary meeting in February.

Yesterday’s first meeting with government representatives mainly focused on discussion on the sentencing aspect – whether the proposed penalty, three to 15 year imprisonment, could effectively help suppress such kinds of organised crimes.

Yet no in-depth analysis had yet been touched on, the committee president added.

Ms Kwan said the government was inclined to introduce a set of new sentences with reference to the existing penalty and to define the crimes in more detail, but both of which had not reached a conclusion as yet.

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