Challenges in Prosecuting Human Trafficking Cases: The Role of Expert Witness

  • Zuraini Ab Hamid Department of Legal Practice, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia, P. O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Rahmawati Mohd Yusoff Department of Law, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Cawangan Johor, Kampus Segamat, 85000 Segamat, Johor, Malaysia.
  • Maizatun Mustafa Department of Legal Practice, Ahmad Ibrahim Kulliyyah of Laws, International Islamic University Malaysia, P. O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Keywords: Human trafficking, Expert, Exploitation, Refugee, TIP


To be ranked at Tier 1 in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act requires the state parties to comply with its minimum standards in combating human trafficking. Unfortunately, some states parties, including Malaysia failed to meet the minimum standards in curbing the monstrous crime fully. Their failure to be in Tier 1 is contributed by a few reasons, including the lack of success in prosecution. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the low number of convictions of traffickers is due to the absence of anti-legislation, lack of trained law enforcers and prosecutors and corruption among the stakeholders. In 2021, the U.S State Department has downgraded Malaysia's ranking in TIP report from Tier 2 to Tier 3. The main reason for the decline was that the government did not adequately address credible allegations from multiple sources alleging labour trafficking involving refugees, migrants, and domestic workers. To be in Tier 1, Malaysia should consider having expert testimony to secure convictions. Using qualitative research method, this paper examines the relevance of expert witness in human trafficking cases from Islamic, Malaysia and international perspectives. This paper further recommends its use in court to secure conviction against traffickers and protect the victims.


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How to Cite
Ab Hamid, Z., Yusoff, R. and Mustafa, M. (2022) “Challenges in Prosecuting Human Trafficking Cases: The Role of Expert Witness”, Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities (MJSSH), 7(3), p. e001356. doi: 10.47405/mjssh.v7i3.1356.