Activities

Participating the Bali Process 2021 Consultation and Innovation Session
Response to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State
Response to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State
Know more about you Employment Rights – Legal promotion campaign
Response to the Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State
Know more about you Employment Rights – Legal promotion campaign (January – June 2018)

 

 
  1. What are the important international conventions concerning the fight against the crime of human trafficking which are applicable to the Macao SAR?
  2. Apart from the above international conventions, is there any other law in Macao which is targeted at combating the crime of human trafficking?
  3. Against the crime of human trafficking, is there in Macao a designated organization responsible for the monitoring of the related social problems?
  4. What are the functions of the "Human Trafficking Deterrent Measures Concern Committee" (hereafter as "Committee")?
  5. How does the law of "Combating Crime of Human Trafficking" define 'human trafficking'?
  6. What are the consequences of human trafficking?
  7. What is the penalty for trafficking in persons underage?
  8. How about the penalty for illegal adoption?
  9. What sorts of provisions are there under the "Combating crime of Human Trafficking" to protect victims of human trafficking case?
  10. Does the confidentiality of information on a victim come under protection?
  11. Victims may enter into Macao by a false identity or holding a forged identity document or travel document, as arranged by human traffickers. They may worry that when they go to report to the police, they themselves would instead be caught committing forgery of document or a related crime. What to do then?
  12. A victim's passport is most likely be withheld by the human trafficker, and being further handicapped by the lack of language and the unfamiliarity of a new place, a victim usually dare not seek help from others. How can the public lend their helping hand to such victims?

1. What are the important international conventions concerning the fight against the crime of human trafficking which are applicable to the Macao SAR?
Answer:

There are many important conventions applicable to the Macao SAR, as listed below:

  1. "Convention to Suppress the Slave Trade and Slavery", signed in Geneva on 25th September 1926;
  2. "Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour" of the International Labour Organization No. 29, signed in Geneva on 28th June 1930, subsequently amended by "1964 Final Article Amendment Convention" (ILO CO29)
  3. "Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others", signed at Lake Success of New York on 2nd December, 1949;
  4. "Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery, the Slave Trade, and Institutions and Practices Similar to Slavery", signed in Gevena on 7th September 1956;
  5. "Abolition of Forced Labour Convention" of the International Labour Organization No. 105, signed in Geneva on 25th June 1957,(ILO C105)
  6. "Convention on the Rights of the Child", signed in New York on 20th November 1989; the "Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography", adopted in New York on 25th May 2000;
  7. "Covention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour", of the Internation Labour Organization No. 182, adopted in Geneva on 17th June 1999 (ILO C182).
  8. "U.N. Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime"(Palermo Convention), signed in New York on 15th November 2000.

2. Apart from the above international conventions, is there any other law in Macao which is targeted at combating the crime of human trafficking?
Answer: There is. As early as in 1997, Macao already defined human trafficking as a crime, and regulated by the Law No. 6/97/M pursuant to article 7 of the "Organized Crime Ordinance". But as the article concerned dealt with only human trafficking cases taken place in Macao and from Macao to other countries or places for prostitution. It was necessary to amend the article concerned to make it more adaptable to the present needs and more in line with international stipulations. In this connection, the SAR Government formulated the Law No. 6/2008 on "Combat the Crime of Trafficking in Persons". The said law was published in the First Group of the Government Official Gazette on 23rd June 2008 and has come into force since 24th June 2008.

3. Against the crime of human trafficking, is there in Macao a designated organization responsible for the monitoring of the related social problems?
Answer: Yes. By way of the Chief Executive Despatch no.266/2007, the Chief executive has set up an interdepartmental "Human Trafficking Deterrent Measures Concern Committee", comprising representatives from policy areas of security, administration, justice and social affairs and coordinated by the Chief of Office of the Secretary for Security.

4. What are the functions of the "Human Trafficking Deterrent Measures Concern Committee" (hereafter as "Committee")?
Answer:

The Commission diagnoses, evaluates and studies the situation of the Macao Special Administrative Region in the context of the social aspects concerning trafficking in persons, promotes sociological research and analysis, issues recommendations and monitors actions of the departments in the fight against the trafficking in persons phenomenon, in the perspective of its prevention, protection and social reintegration of the victims, as well as in the perspective of the fight against its facilitation; for these purposes, the Commission shall promote:

  1. Continuous consideration of the adequacy of the law of the Macao Special Administrative Region in relation to the prevailing concepts of applicable international law;
  2. The prevention of the fostering of social practices connoted with trafficking in persons, whether related to sexual exploitation or any other kind of exploitation;
  3. The facilitation of access of victims to medical care and psychological counselling and the provision of secure shelter or lodgement for victims, whenever necessary;
  4. The awareness and participation of civil society in general and of its associations in particular in what regards their involvement in dissuasion policies of any type of trafficking in persons, whether related to sexual exploitation or any other kind of exploitation;
  5. The implementation of social reintegration measures for victims, and in case of non-resident victims, the guaranty of their safe return to the place of origin with dignity;
  6. The interaction between different relevant departments in order to ensure multidisciplinary intervention.

In addition, the Committee should also be promoting international and regional cooperation, to enable the various departments concerned to better collaborate with their counterparts elsewhere in achieving the target of collectively deterring human trafficking.


5. How does the law of "Combating Crime of Human Trafficking" define 'human trafficking'?
Answer: The Law of "Combat the Crime of Human Trafficking" has expanded the application of human tafficking, making applicable to activities of human trafficking within the territory of Macao and of human trafficking into Macao from outside. It has further more defined activities to cover, in addition to prostitution, sexual exploitation, and exploitation of labour or service against others (For examples, forcing hard labour from victims, enslaving others, removing human organ or tissue, or illegal adoption (human trafficking disguised as adoption of underage)), etc.
Moreover, one breaks the law of "Combat the Crime of Trafficking in Persons" regardless of whether the trafficking occurs inside Macao, out of or into Macao.

6.  What are the consequences of human trafficking?
Answer: Whoever offers, delivers, induces, recruits, accepts, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a person for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploitation of labour or services of that person, in particular forced or coerced labour or services, enslavement or practices similar to enslavement, removal of organs or tissues of human origin, by means of violence, abduction, or serious threat; or deception or fraud; or abuse of authority as a result of a hierarchical, economic, labour or family relationship of dependency; or abuse of psychic incapacity or of any other situation of vulnerability of the victim; or obtaining the consent of a person having control over the victim: faces a penalty of 3 to 12 years of imprisonment.

7.  What is the penalty for trafficking in persons underage?
Answer: Whoever for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploitation of labour or services, or removal of human organs by any means, offers, induces, recruits, accepts, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a minor (under the age of 18) is liable to a maximium penalty up to 15 years of imprisonment. In the case of a victim under the age of 14, or if the perpetrator acts as a form of living or with intent to profit, the minimum and maximium penalty shall be aggravated by one third, namely the maximum penalty will be 20 years of imprisonment.

8. How about the penalty for illegal adoption?
Answer: Adoption involving giving and receiving monetary benefit is a crime. The law of "Combat the Crime of Trafficking in Persons" stipulates that whoever by means of giving or receiving benefits acquires or transfers a minor; or through giving or receiving benefits obtains or gives the consent to the adoption of a minor commits a crime, subject to 1 to 5 years of imprisonment.

9. What sorts of provisions are there under the law of "Combating the crime of Human Trafficking" to protect victims of human trafficking case?
Answer: It is essential for a victim to take part in the litigation proceeding, because a victim could act as a witness to attest the criminal suspect. This would help to secure a conviction at the end of the day.
The SAR Government has set up a protection scheme for victims concerned. If a victim's safety is under threat, she will be given a safe place to stay. Under general circumstances, she will be placed into a sheltered centre. Moreover, necessary and proper psychological, medical, social, financial and legal assistance will also be made available. A victim could receive legal advice and judicial service to sue for civil compensation, and assistance in language translation and interpretation, etc. Additionally, if a victim gives her consent, the SAR Government will immediately pass the information to her family or to the foreign affairs organization of her country.
During the litigation proceeding, a victim is allowed to stay in Macao. However, should a victim wish to return to her place of abode, she could do so after making a written statement.

10. Does the confidentiality of information on a victim come under protection?
Answer: Yes. The law provides that before and after the trial and hearing of evidence, the disclosure of the identity of a victim in the media by any means is prohibited. In addition, when a case of human trafficking is being tried, acts of litigation will not proceed in an open court (hearing of evidence in particular). If the safety of a victim, her family or witness in the case comes under threat, the departments concerned will take immediate action through necessary mechanism of cooperation, and even when a victim and her family are not local residents, suitable protection and assistance are made available to a victim by the government of her place of abode so as to ensure protection of their safety.

11.  Victims may enter into Macao by a false identity or holding a forged identity document or travel document, as arranged by human traffickers. They may worry that when they go to report to the police, they themselves would instead be caught committing forgery of document or a related crime. What to do then?
Answer: The crime of forgery of document requires a criminal intent. If a victim is arranged by the human trafficker to enter into Macao by a falsae identity or holding a forged identity document or travel document, she needs not worry about being convicted because of her reporting to the police.

12.  A victim's passport is most likely be withheld by the human trafficker, and being further handicapped by the lack of language and the unfamiliarity of a new place, a victim usually dare not seek help from others. How can the public lend their helping hand to such victims?
Answer: Retaining, concealing, damaging or destroying the identity document or travel document of a victim of human trafficking is subject to a maximum of 5-year imprisonment. Citizens should always keep an eye on the conditions of their neighbours. On spotting the moving in of new faces (possibly foreigners) of young age and that such persons are always accompanied or closely watched by somebody on their way in and way out. Citizens should then observe more carefully, because such persons are possibly victims of human trafficking. In case of any suspicious situation, citizens should call the 24-hour Human Trafficking Report and Assistance Hotline at 2888 9911 to provide information.