Members of the House of Representatives today passed the Trafficking in Persons Act 2021, creating tougher penalties for offenders.
The decision was made to amend the monetary penalties to remove the option of fines in lieu of custodial sentences as a penalty for certain offences that are egregious in nature and increase the monetary penalties under Section 15 of the Act.
The amendment also makes a consequential amendment to Section 10 of the Child Care and Protection Act to remove the option of fine in lieu of custodial sentence.
Minister of National Security, Dr. Horace Chang, in closing the debate on the bill, said that the Government is creating a legal framework that punishes human trafficking, while deterring persons from getting involved in the criminal activity.
He said that trafficking in persons is a heinous activity, which provides significant funding to the criminal underworld.