Couple face multiple charges of human trafficking for forced labour

Source: FMT News

Husband and wife plead not guilty but will appear in two more courts this week on similar charges of exploiting teenagers for forced labour. Pic from FMT News.

KUANTAN: A married couple was charged in the Sessions Court here today with four counts of human trafficking for exploitation involving four teenage boys, just three days after appearing in the Ipoh Sessions Court for a similar offence.

They will appear in two more courts later this week on similar charges.

According to a Bernama report, Muslim Ab Karim, 56, and his wife, Zaleha Mohamad, 54, pleaded not guilty to the charges before judge Siti Aminah Ghazali at the court here today.

The prosecution, led by DPP Jaizah Jaafar Sidek, asked the court to deny the couple bail because of other pending charges against them.

Jaizah said they would be charged at the Raub Sessions Court tomorrow and at the Kota Baru Sessions Court on Sunday for similar offences. Read more

Suhakam praises cops for rescuing 18 from forced labour

Source: FMT News

It hopes more will be done to dismantle human trafficking syndicates operating in the country. Pic taken from FMT News.

It hopes more will be done to dismantle human trafficking syndicates operating in the country. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is obliged to eliminate the worst forms of child labour in the country under international law.

Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said this was so as Malaysia was a signatory to the ILO Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention 1999 (No 182).

It said this in response to news reports of the rescue of 18 people, including seven children, forced to work at an oil palm plantation in Hulu Perak.

While commending the police for their efforts, Suhakam wanted more to be done to dismantle more such human trafficking syndicates operating in the country.

“The Malaysian government must monitor and better regulate businesses to prevent child labour. MPs should unite to fight human trafficking,” it said in a statement today.

It said child labour and human trafficking included all forms of slavery, such as the sale and trafficking of children, debt bondage and forced labour. Read more

Exploited workers get 12-hour shifts, RM100 per month

Source: FMT News

Negri Sembilan man says his family left their hometown thinking their life would turn around but it only got worse at the oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu. Pic taken from FMT News.

Negri Sembilan man says his family left their hometown thinking their life would turn around but it only got worse at the oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu. Pic taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Eighteen people who were allegedly trafficked and exploited at an oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu say they were made to work 12-hour shifts and paid next to nothing despite promises of a steady salary.

According to The Star daily, the victims, including five children, were lured to the isolated plantation, accessible only by four-wheel drive along dirt roads. There, they told police, they were made to work long hours with the children forced to carry the harvested fruits.

Although they were paid, they said the management deducted excessive amounts of money for every food item they received, sometimes leaving them with only RM100 at the end of the month.

“We were promised a steady income but once we got our salaries, the management would give excuses by saying that we told them to get so many things and they were at a loss,” Jag, 29, was quoted as saying. Read more

129,000 trapped in slavery in Malaysia, study finds

Source: The Star Online

slaveryreport

Image drawn from The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: Almost 46 million across the world are trapped in modern slavery, with 129,000 people in Malaysia enslaved, a study shows.

According to the Global Slavery Index 2016, published by the Walk Free Foundation, there are 28% more people enslaved than previously estimated, with 45.8 million reported last year, compared with 35.8 million in 2014.

The report found that approximately 129,000 individuals, or 0.4% of Malaysia’s population are still trapped in modern slavery.

In the context of Southeast Asia, Malaysia has the fifth highest prevalence of slavery in terms of percentage, placing it behind Cambodia, Myanmar, Brunei and Thailand.

According to the report, there were cases of forced labour and exploitation within certain industries. However, in the context of the absolute number of people trapped in modern slavery, Malaysia ranks 50th, far behind countries like Indonesia, with 736,100 people, and Myanmar, with 515,100 people. Read more

Why rehire, arrest illegal foreign workers at the same time, asks Tenaganita

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Tenaganita says foreign workers fear that they will be arrested if their application under the rehiring programme is unsuccessful. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 22, 2016.

Why is the government promoting the rehiring of undocumented foreign workers while going on a massive scale of arrest and deportation exercise, rights group Tenaganita asked today.

Its director, Aegile Fernandez, said this would only cause undocumented foreign workers to stay away from registering under the rehiring programme for fear they would be arrested if their application was unsuccessful.

Putrajaya embarked on the Rehiring Programme for Illegal Workers on February 15, to run untill December 31, with the objective of legalising foreign workers and assess the actual number of workers needed by industries.

Employers who have hired undocumented foreign labour, would have to pay RM1,200 to legalise each worker.

Fernandez told The Malaysian Insider today that Tenaganita had been receiving calls from employers and migrants who were concerned that workers would be arrested if they were not accepted under the programme. Read more

North Koreans doing forced labour in Malaysia, UN investigator says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

United Nations (UN) investigator says more than 50,000 North Korean workers were currently employed overseas in primarily the mining, construction, textile and logging industries. ― File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 ― North Koreans are being sent to Malaysia and other countries to work in forced labour conditions to earn money for the purportedly financially strapped nation, a United Nations (UN) investigator said.

International news wire AP reported yesterday Marzuki Darusman, special rapporteur on human rights in North Korea, as saying in a report to the UN general assembly and at a press conference that the companies hiring North Korean workers were “complicit in an unacceptable system of forced labour”.

Darusman reportedly said more than 50,000 North Korean workers were currently employed overseas in primarily the mining, construction, textile and logging industries, mostly in China and Russia, but also in Malaysia, Algeria, Angola, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Libya, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Poland, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Read more