Immigration laws are strictly enforced, which sharply reduces the flow of persons potentially vulnerable to trafficking.
There is no specific campaign to combat trafficking.
The government participates in regional initiatives against transnational organized crime.
The three major laws that governed trafficking and prostitution are the Women's Charter, the Children and Young Person's Act, and the Penal Code. Trafficking in women and children, whether or not it is related to prostitution, is punishable by up to 5-years imprisonment, a $5,700 (S$10,000) fine and caning. Traffickers could be prosecuted under the Penal Code's "wrongful constraint" provision, which carries maximum punishments of 10 years imprisonment and a fine. Convicted traffickers could be found guilty of violating more than one law. There was no specific campaign to combat or prevent the use of fraud or coercion to recruit foreign women as prostitutes, although some persons were prosecuted and punished for crimes involving such acts.1
Periodically, police carry out crackdowns on prostitutes, particularly those operating outside of informally designated relight areas. Foreign prostitutes detained in these raids usually are deported quickly, and some trafficking victims may become caught up among these deportees. Authorities prosecuted some cases of trafficking. In 2001, a court jailed a man for 24 months for trafficking 4 women from China with job offers as waitresses, however were expected to be prostitutes when they arrived in Singapore.2
Authorities prosecuted some cases of trafficking. In May 2003, authorities charged five individuals with forcing a 12-year old Malaysian girl into prostitution after promising her employment in Singapore as a maid. Two of those charged pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 12 years in prison; one of these two was also sentenced to be caned six strokes. The trial of the other three lasted 10 days. One was convicted of rape and sentenced to 12 years in prison and 12 strokes of the cane. The other two were convicted of conspiring to recruit men to rape the girl. One was sentenced to 12 years and six strokes of the cane; the other received a 13-year sentence, 12 strokes of the cane and a $5,700 (S$10,000) fine.3
The Penal Code provides for the removal of a woman or girl in need of protection to a place of safety.
Victims of trafficking have been urged to remain in the country until a case has been prosecuted. Victims did not receive government assistance during the waiting period for the trial, and indicated they sometimes were not granted permission for alternative employment and were dependent on the support from their embassy.4
The government nor NGOs have provided assistance to trafficked victims. Victims are asked to remain in Singapore to testify against their traffickers, however, they are not allowed to engage in employment, and are dependent on help from their embassies. In 2003, there were no NGOs that gave assistance to trafficked victims while they awaited the trials of their traffickers.
Singapore has ratified the International Labor Organization Convention 182. Singapore has signed the UN Protocol to Prevent Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.
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