Sex trafficking in Singapore is human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and slavery that occurs in the Republic of Singapore. Singapore is primarily a destination country for sexually trafficked persons.

Trafficking process and victims

Sex trafficking victims in the country are from all ethnic groups in Singapore and foreigners.[1] Singaporean citizens and foreigners, primarily women and girls, have been deceived,[2][3][4][1] threatened,[4] and forced into prostitution[3][5][6] and unfree labour.[3] They are often forced to wear revealing clothing and high heels.[2] Many come from poverty and have little education.[3][5] Perpetrators confiscate their passports[4] and other documents[1] and guard or lock-up the women and girls.[3] Some force them to sign phony contracts in a foreign language they cannot read.[3] Sex trafficked victims experience physical and psychological trauma.[2][5] Abuse is prevalent[4][5] and they contract sexually transmitted diseases from rapes without condoms.[1] Malnutrition and food deprivation also occur.[1] A number have depression[4] and suicidal thoughts because of the trauma.[6] Some are coerced to become sex traffickers themselves.[5]

Extent

Sex trafficking and exploitation is not as big of a problem as it was back in the 1970s and 1980s, but it manifests in various forms throughout Singaporean society. Male and female perpetrators in Singapore come from diverse backgrounds. A number of traffickers are members of or facilitated by criminal syndicates and gangs.[7][5] Perpetrators are increasingly using websites and messaging apps to lure victims.[3]

Legislation

The Singapore government has made major efforts to curb sex trafficking in the country. In recent years tougher penalties were passed into law aimed at traffickers, which has caused a sharp decline in such crimes. Ever since, trafficking has no longer been considered a major issue.[8][9]

Responses

The government of Singapore has been criticised for not having adequate victim protection efforts.[1]

Hagar International carries out anti-sex trafficking efforts in Singapore.[6]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Study sheds light on sex trafficking in Singapore". Straits Times. February 10, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "How a 14-year-old girl was trafficked to Singapore and locked up". Asia One. 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Couple who ran Boat Quay nightclubs gets jail, fine in Singapore's first labour trafficking sentencing". cna. February 11, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e "'She had lost all reason to live': Undoing the horrors of being trafficked to Singapore and seeking justice". cna. February 15, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Sex trafficking in Singapore: How changes to the law may protect women duped into prostitution". CNA. November 10, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "Former sex trafficking victim recounts harrowing experience in Singapore". Yahoo News. March 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "Chinese women 'tricked into Singapore sex trade by WeChat prostitution ring'". South China Morning Post. December 4, 2018.
  8. ^ "Trafficking In Persons". Ministry of Home Affairs.
  9. ^ "Sex trafficking in Singapore: How changes to the law may protect women duped into prostitution". CNA. November 10, 2019.