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Alice Nah

Malaysia , Class of 2009

Alice Nah

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While working on her PhD Thesis, Alice Nah saw the plight of migrant workers in Malaysia.

Alice Nah’s PhD thesis focused on a people group in Malaysia. Through her experiences drafting and researching, she began to be interested in immigration, and the issues faced by people who interact with the immigration system for work, i.e. migrant workers. She helped to found the Migration Working Group, which is a network made up of lawyers, academics, volunteers, and others who work to protect and advocate for the rights of migrant workers. The organization now includes a variety of NGOs working on modern-day slavery issues, and still submits documents and legal memoranda to various people detailing obligations and advocating for migrant workers. Alice Nah has built awareness through the Working Group, and has written articles concerning human trafficking in migrant situations. For example, in 2009 she wrote an influential article about refugees along the Burmese-Malay border, and trafficking that occurred within that vulnerable population. In 2009, she was honored as a "TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery" in recognition of her efforts to combat human trafficking. She is now a research and teaching fellow at the University of York, in the UK. She continues to be active in the human rights field.

In the 2014 TIP Report, Malaysia was dropped to the level of a Tier 3 country. This is the lowest level in the TIP Report. It is primarily a destination country, although also a source and a transit country. While there is sex trafficking, the overwhelming majority of trafficking happens to the vast migrant worker population. The government has much to do to combat trafficking and bring its actions into line with the minimum standards for combatting trafficking. 

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