PETALING JAYA: Victims of student trafficking can now get a second chance for education thanks to an online reporting system devised by R.AGE.
The Student/Trafficked documentary series and campaign, launched today at rage.com.my/trafficked, is aimed at ensuring those trafficked by unscrupulous colleges or agents have some form of legal redress.
Victims can report their cases on the Student/Trafficked website, and each case will be reviewed by partnering NGOs and the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE).
Once a case is confirmed to involve trafficking, the ministry will help enrol them into another college or secure a return to their home country.
“We have a system already in place to look at whether the students meet the criteria to apply for a programme, then arrange for them to continue their studies in another institution,” said MOHE Director-General Datin Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir.
“It’s a tedious process but we’re willing to help. At the end of the day, our main priority is the interest of the students.
“We can take punitive action against the colleges involved, but other agencies have to assist as well, depending on the nature of the case. For example, if the student’s visa has expired, then Immigration will step in.”
R.AGE deputy executive editor and producer Ian Yee said the joint effort will finally plug a gap in the system for a very vulnerable group.
“At the moment, student trafficking victims can’t go home because of their massive debts, and they can’t stay and work here legally either,” said Yee.
“The Immigration Department gave illegal migrant workers the chance to be rehired through the E-Kad programme, but those who were trafficked here as students don’t qualify for that.
“Thankfully, through this campaign with MOHE, and with the support of Immigration, the victims finally have a viable option to escape the horrible situations they’ve been trafficked into.”
The campaign comes less than five months after R.AGE’s Predator In My Phone successful campaign that contributed to the passing of the Sexual Offences against Children Act 2017.
“Predator In My Phone showed the country what we can achieve if we are united for a good cause, and we hope we can do the same for these trafficked students, who are literally all around us,” added Yee.
Victims can report their cases at rage.com.my/trafficked.