Prevention of Human Trafficking Act to take effect from March 1

SINGAPORE - A law against human trafficking involving sexual exploitation, forced labour or organ removal, takes effect on Sunday.

The Prevention of Human Trafficking Act, passed in Parliament in November, serves to deter human trafficking and supports the rehabilitation of trafficked victims, said the Ministry of Home Affairs in a statement on Friday.

The new law defines the offence of trafficking in persons. A comprehensive definition will allow the authorities to act against different forms of human trafficking. For example, it is an offence to knowingly receive payment through exploiting a trafficked victim.

First-time offenders face up to 10 years in jail, a maximum fine of $100,000, plus the possibility of up to six strokes of the cane. Repeat offenders face up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $150,000, with mandatory caning of up to nine strokes.

Law enforcement officers from police as well as the Health and Manpower ministries are also provided specific powers to investigate such offences under the Act.

Victims will be provided with temporary shelter and counselling.

limyihan@sph.com.sg