The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government on Wednesday expressed strong opposition to the reference relating to Macao in the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report, issued recently by the U.S. Department of State.
The Office of the Secretary for Security under the Macao SAR government said such references on Macao in the report had attempted, with "pure conjecture and bias", to deny the continuous efforts made by the Macao SAR government on preventing and combating human trafficking and the good results achieved therefrom.
The Macao SAR government has always actively coordinated government departments and various sectors of society to prevent and combat human trafficking as well as protect victims. Despite the severe impacts of COVID-19 since 2020, work related to the combating of human trafficking had carried on as usual, maintaining Macao's sound situation of long-term low crime rate or even zero crimes in this regard, said the office.
For years, the U.S. report had failed to present the truth in Macao, noted the office, adding that the Macao SAR government felt deeply regretted and indignant about the improper comments made by the U.S. side on Macao's law enforcement and judiciary work despite years of representations lodged by Macao.
The Macao SAR government will, as always, firmly join hands with all sectors in Macao to prevent and control human trafficking and guarantee the safety and legitimate rights and interests of local residents and non-natives alike, the office said.
It also pledged to continue actively coordinating with judiciary departments on law enforcement and stepping up international and inter-regional exchanges and cooperation to jointly discuss preventive and combating strategies, so as to eliminate human trafficking and all other forms of human exploitation.