Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Malaysia-Australia Agree To Fight Human Trafficking

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Australia have agreed to hold working group meetings at senior officer level to fight human trafficking to Australia using Malaysia as a transit country.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the first meeting, which he would chair, would be held in Malaysia in two weeks.

"Human trafficking is a serious issue which has to be addressed by both countries through a very close cooperation. The efforts by both countries should also be looked as a commitment to create a region which is free of such activity," he said in a statement here today.

Hishammuddin is on a working visit to Australia where focus is on bilateral efforts to address regional crime issues, including human trafficking.

During the visit, he met with members of the Australian Cabinet Committee, comprising Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Senator Chris Evans, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, Defence Minister Senator John Faulkner, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor, on border control.

Hishammuddin said the working group meetings would also focus on programmes to be carried out involving agencies, like the police, the Immigration Department, Foreign Ministry, the Attorney-General's Department and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Besides human trafficking, other matters like on anti-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration matters pertaining to travel documents and mechanism to enhance cooperation of security agencies between both countries, were also discussed, he added.

Hishammuddin will also visit the Border Protection Control Center in Canberra and also the CCTV Center which monitors security in Melbourne.

-- BERNAMA

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