The Perception of Social Work Students on Human Trafficking in Malaysia

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue X, October 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Perception of Social Work Students on Human Trafficking in Malaysia

M. Zulaikha1, Z.M Lukman2, C. Azlini3, R. Normala4, M.Y. Kamal5

1, 2, 3,4, 5Faculty of Applied Social Sciences, University Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia

Abstract: The issue of human trafficking in Malaysia has been debated for decades. It is a transnational crime that is rapidly growing across the world compared to drugs and weapons smuggling. Human trafficking could affect the country’s safety and sovereignty. This transnational and domestic issue targets women, children and foreign workers as exploitable victims. Various proactive approaches have been taken by the government to provide safety and protection mechanism for victims of human trafficking and establish Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (ATIPSOM) Act 2007 in order to punish the offenders and to tighten the state border control that involves cooperation from different parties. Even though Malaysia’s position constantly changes in the annual human trafficking report by the U.S. ambassador in Malaysia, Malaysia continues to work hard in order to place in the top tier in overcoming human trafficking crime. This descriptive study is done by using the questionnaire in the research to explore social work students’ knowledge of human trafficking in Malaysia. The findings of this study show that students do understand and have the general and specific knowledge about human trafficking and that they are serious about human rights that are supposed to be received by the victims. However, there are a number of social work students who are less interested in helping trafficking victims in the future. Research and special education need to be given to the students so that it could make the students want to help the victims and obtain the additional knowledge about human trafficking not only in Malaysia but also in the whole world.

Keywords – Human trafficking, Exploitation, Malaysia, Social work, Questionnaire


Human trafficking is a crime that involves violations of human rights and is a form of modern-day slavery, where this phenomenon is not a new case and it could disrupt Malaysia’s safety and sovereignty [1]. Human trafficking issue has gotten global attention as a serious transnational crime along with drugs and weapons smuggling [2]. Malaysia is perceived as a destination, source and transit country for human trafficking [3]. Human trafficking is also an act of exploiting humans in order to gain profit through sex activities or labor work [4].

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