PETALING JAYA: The widespread practice of forced labour in Malaysia has alarmed the International Labour Organization (ILO) whose Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) have said this practice must “be urgently addressed”.
To this end, the ILO has begun working with the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) to develop guidelines on the recruitment and placement of migrant workers.
The ILO also said, “More can be done to make it easier for migrants to change employers, to protect their rights to join trade unions…”
The MEF has also made a number of recommendations to the government in regard to reducing abuses, cutting costs and making the recruitment process fairer and more transparent.
Referring to the vulnerability of migrant workers, the ILO said the Malaysian government and employers must scrutinise and review recruitment as well as employment practices and policies.
Apart from recommending more thorough discussions on migration policies by all relevant parties, the ILO have also put in a draft bill that pushes for the tightening of regulations of private employment agencies, including outsourcing agencies.
The ILO has thus far “supported the training of some Malaysian government labour inspectors, to recognise and deal with human trafficking for labour exploitation” and is further prepared “to provide further help to tackle these unacceptable abuses”.
Apart from the ILO and the MEF, the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has long been advocating for better policies, and through their migrant worker resource centres has helped individuals obtain access to justice.
~ Free Malaysia Today