Sex Traffickers: Friend or foe?


  • Dr Haezreena Begum Abdul Hamid



helpers, sex traffickers, sex work, traffickers, trafficking, victims of trafficking


This article addresses the knowledge gap surrounding human traffickers in Malaysia. Based on qualitative interviews with women identified as victims of trafficking, it explores the women’s perception of their traffickers and their migration experience. The article asserts that the term ‘trafficker’ is complex and misunderstood by scholars, states, and state officials; and that trafficked persons may not necessarily detest their traffickers or even regard them as having caused them harm. Instead, traffickers are sometimes considered ‘helpers’ or people who provide work opportunities and a prospect of a better life. However, this form of relationship is considered exploitative by Malaysian legislation.


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Author Biography

Dr Haezreena Begum Abdul Hamid

Dr Haezreena Begum Abdul Hamid is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur. She obtained a PhD in Criminology from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and was a practising lawyer in the Malaysian courts for 17 years. Her areas of interests include human trafficking, criminology, victimology, sexual crimes, policing, international crimes, and human rights.




How to Cite

Hamid, H. (2022). Sex Traffickers: Friend or foe?. Anti-Trafficking Review, (18), 87–102.