Malaysia Willing To Cooperate With Us On Forced Labour Issue
Malaysia is ready to enter into strategic cooperation with the United States to address the issue of human trafficking and forced labour said Human Resources Minister M Saravanan.
In a discussion with the US ambassador to Malaysia Brian McFeeters today, Saravanan said he expressed the ministry’s willingness to enter into a strategic cooperation to improve enforcement and increase the number of convictions concerning forced labour cases.
He said the discussion also revolved around the 2021 US State Department’s annual report on human trafficking.
"The forced labour issue, especially involving foreign workers, is given a priority by the government, following the US State Department’s report as well as several other reports and studies conducted by various international institutions," he said in a statement today.
Saravanan said a recent study by the Modern Slavery and Human Rights Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) also touched on the issue of forced labour in the rubber glove manufacturing sector entitled "Forced Labour in the Malaysian Medical Gloves Supply Chain during the Covid-19 Pandemic".
Saravanan said he also briefed McFeeters on initiatives implemented by the ministry to address the issue including enforcement of the Employment Act 1955 (Act 265) and the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 (Act 446) where throughout last year until June this year, 194 investigation papers had been opened.
He also said the ministry is collaborating with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to develop a National Action Plan on forced labour and child labour which is expected to be finalised and launched in the fourth quarter of this year.
Additionally, he said the Working for Workers (WFW) mobile application was launched in May to address labour issues and as of July 11, it received 5,675 complaints of which 4,105 had been addressed by the ministry.
Saravanan said the ministry is reviewing the US State Department’s report as well as the Modern Slavery PEC study to improve existing measures and ensure a comprehensive approach to deal with labour issues.
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