Let refugees work, UNHCR tells Malaysia

Source: The Malaysian Insider

UNHCR representative in Malaysia Richard Towle says allowing refugees to hold jobs would help address related concerns about crime and illegal labour. – Pic courtesy of UNHCR, October 254, 2015.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has urged Malaysia to enact a policy to deal with refugees in the country, including allowing them to hold jobs.

This would help Malaysia address other related concerns about crime and illegal labour, UNHCR representative in Malaysia Richard Towle said.

Towle made the call for a proper policy when asked about the steps that could be taken by Malaysia to improve its treatment of refugees who end up at its shores.

“We think that at the national level, it would be useful to enact a refugee policy and strategy that is developed by the government in close cooperation with us and another international organisation,” he said in a recent interview with The Malaysian Insider following news that Malaysia would accept 3,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years.

Malaysia could also improve the lots of refugee here with changes to refugee laws in Malaysia, including considering giving them the right to work in the country.

Refugees in Malaysia are still considered as undocumented or illegal immigrants under current law, Towle said. Read more