The Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons was established in 2010 to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) in Singapore. Find out more about the taskforce and its work.
What is trafficking in persons
TIP is a significant transnational crime which exploits vulnerable victims. As increasing numbers of people move across borders in search of economic opportunities, traffickers make use of such opportunities to exploit individuals with empty promises of a better life. Victims are typically deceived or coerced into providing sexual services, forced labour or have their organs removed.
Singapore is committed to combat human trafficking. Strict border control measures, tough laws and a well-documented workforce have continued to limit the opportunities for human trafficking syndicates from carrying out their activities and kept illegal border entries to a minimum.
The Singapore Inter-Agency Taskforce on Trafficking in Persons
The Singapore Inter-Agency taskforce was established in 2010 and is co-led by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM). It also includes representatives from other government agencies, namely:
- Singapore Police Force (SPF)
- Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
- Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
- Ministry of Health (MOH)
- Ministry of Law (MinLaw)
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA)
- Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC)
The aim of the taskforce is to implement holistic, coordinated strategies to combat TIP more effectively.
National Plan of Action (NPA) 2012 to 2015
Launched in March 2012, the NPA served as a roadmap to guide the taskforce in building its capabilities to deal with TIP in Singapore. It is centered around the “4 Ps” strategy of:
Over the past four years, the taskforce has reviewed and completed 31 initiatives under the NPA. Some of these initiatives include:
National Approach Against TIP (2016 to 2026)
The National Approach Against TIP sets out the key strategies and the desired outcomes to guide the taskforce and stakeholders when developing their work plans to combat TIP in the longer term. The National Approach was developed in consultation with various stakeholder groups such as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), academic institutions, business associations and faith-based organisations and members of the public.
The National Approach sets out four desired outcomes under the “4 Ps” framework:
||A public that is aware of TIP crimes and actively takes steps to prevent, combat and suppress TIP. Government officials and stakeholders who are well-trained, competent and professional in identifying and dealing with TIP cases.
||An effective end-to-end criminal justice response to TIP crimes, involving comprehensive investigations and prosecution of all offenders who may be involved in trafficking or the exploitation of victims.
||An appropriate victim care and support framework that looks after the needs of all victims of trafficking.
||A strong ecosystem comprising domestic and international stakeholders to put forth a whole-of-Singapore response against TIP.
Read about the National Approach.
Singapore takes strong actions to prevent and deter TIP. The PHTA imposes heavy penalties on offenders and provides protection to victims. Apart from investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases under the PHTA, Singapore also adopts a proactive approach to detect and deal with cases that have the potential to become TIP cases. Under this framework, enforcement agencies like SPF and MOM conduct regular operations to detect and deter illegal activities that may be indicative of human trafficking, such as vice activities and illegal labour. Our pre-emptive enforcement stance has helped to keep the number of TIP cases low.
TIP Public Awareness Grant
The TIP Public Awareness Grant is aimed at encouraging public education initiatives that would help raise awareness of TIP crimes, so that such incidents can be detected early and reported to the authorities.
Applications are now open from 9 December 2019 to 29 February 2020.
If you’re interested, the taskforce would like to invite you to submit proposals that aim to increase public awareness on TIP, and shape public attitudes about their roles in combating TIP. You can refer to the application form for more details.
Reporting a suspected TIP case
You can report a suspected trafficking in persons case online.
- Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Assistance Extended to Trafficked Victims by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, 4 November 2019
- Detailed Response to the 2019 U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, 24 July 2019
- Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Prosecutions, Convictions and Investigations Carried Out Against Human Trafficking by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, 1 October 2018
- Detailed Response to 2017 U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, 30 July 2017
- Launch of Singapore's New National Approach Against Trafficking in Persons - media release, 10 March 2016
- Singapore Ratifies the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children - media release, 26 January 2016
- Singapore Accedes to the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol - media release, 29 September 2015
- Prevention of Human Trafficking Act to Take Effect from 1 March 2015 - media release, 1 March 2015
- First Reading of the Private Member’s Prevention of Human Trafficking Bill 2014 - media release, 7 October 2014
- Stakeholder Engagement on Singapore’s Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts - media release, 26 February 2014
- Three Proposals to Raise Awareness on Human Trafficking Receive Taskforce Funding - media release, 4 July 2013
- Official statement in response to the 2013 US State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, 24 June 2013
- $80,000 Fund Launched to Raise Awareness for Trafficking-In-Persons - media release, 11 January 2013
- Detailed Response to the 2012 U.S. State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, 13 July 2012
- Official statement in response to the 2012 US State Department's Trafficking in Persons Report, 20 June 2012
- Speech by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower and Senior Minister of State for National Development at the launch event of the National Plan of Action, 21 March 2012
- Detailed Response to the 2011 US State Department's Trafficking In Persons Report, 1 August 2011