Human Trafficking in Singapore

No man is an island. In an increasingly connected world, we now have easy access to people and places within hours or even seconds.

There are however two sides to the coin connectedness brings. Unfortunately, technology can now aid false job agents in preying on job-seekers, executing inhumane plans to enslave vulnerable persons, particularly women and children.

These individuals typically, come from impoverished backgrounds in rural places with little or no education, and are lowly skilled. Traffickers exploit their vulnerabilities and their lack of access to remedies by coercing or deceiving them to gain control, and then profit from their forced service.

Many would assume human trafficking is a problem that exists only in under-developed countries. Contrary to common beliefs, Singapore is a hotbed for human trafficking. "Employers" with ill intent leverage on our thriving cosmopolitan city, deceiving victims with the promise of a better life for their families if they find employment here.

In the Trafficking in Persons report issued by the US Department of State annually, Singapore was placed on the human trafficking Tier 2 watch list in 2010, to the surprise of many. Though the country has made significant efforts over the past eight years to improve prosecution of traffickers and protection of victims, Singapore continues to be on Tier 2 till this day, failing to meet the minimum international standards.

In 2014, the Singapore Government engaged HAGAR to provide training to frontline policemen to better identify victims. And in 2015, HAGAR also began caring for women who are trafficked into Singapore for sexual exploitation and forced labour. In close partnership with the Singapore Government, HAGAR helps to provide trauma recovery, legal aid, literacy skills, employment training, job placements and eventually resettlement assistance when the women return to their home countries.

At HAGAR, we believe that every person has the right to be treated with respect and dignity. It is our goal to lift every victim out of their situation, help survivors to heal from trauma and enable them to achieve their fullest potential in life. HAGAR operates from 9 countries to provide recovery and empowerment services for survivors in Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

Click here to give a gift of hope through trauma-informed counselling and care, and see lives restored to wholeness.