‘Be My Protector’: Launch of new anti-human trafficking app

Source: TheSunDaily

The launch of the 1st anti-human trafficking app ‘Be My Protector’ here in the CO3 Social Office in Puchong on April 19, 2018. — Sunpix by Zulfadhli Zaki

PETALING JAYA: The fight against human trafficking in the country could be intensified following the launch of the first ever anti-human trafficking mobile application in Southeast Asia.

The app, aptly named “Be My Protector”, is the brainchild of human rights organisations Tenaganita and Change Your World (CYW), and required two years of development leading up to its release.

Describing the launch as a historical moment, Tenaganita director Aegile Fernandez said the app was necessary to allow the public and the victims themselves to have a proper channel to report cases of human trafficking.

“We have enforcement, but that is a different level. That’s when the idea of the app came about. It took us two years of sitting down, brainstorming and testing.

“We could not let the matter just go. I always question why are we the losers in this war against human trafficking? We should be the winners, and today this dream has become a reality,” she said at the launch, here today. Read more

Tenaganita: Special court useful in fighting human trafficking

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita has lauded the government’s move to set up a special court focused on human trafficking cases, saying it will be a useful component of Malaysia’s strategy to combat the problem.

Its executive director, Glorene A Das, however cautioned that the effort would be construed as a public relations exercise if certain important prerequisites were not fulfilled.

She said very often victims of trafficking, most of them foreigners, were reluctant to fight their cases in courts due to the lengthy legal process and lack of support. This problem needed to be addressed.

Read more

Tenaganita: Loan sharks now ‘helping’ migrants at hospitals

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita is aware that some loan sharks loaf around hospitals to take advantage of migrants who are in need of money for medical treatment.

Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das — pic from FMT News.

Speaking to FMT, Tenaganita director Glorene Das said they had heard of loan sharks waiting at the hospital and offering loans to immigrants for their medical treatment.

The matter first came to FMT’s attention when an Indonesian immigrant with permanent resident status in Malaysia tipped off the portal.

He said when his friend took his pregnant wife to a government hospital, “agents” approached his friend, saying they were willing to help if he did not have any money to pay for the pregnancy care.

Foreign residents have to pay a larger deposit when seeking treatment at government hospitals. In a move to reduce the medical subsidy for non-citizens, the health ministry in April announced new rates for admission to wards and surgery. Read more

‘Separate law needed to protect foreign maids’

Source: The Star

The Star

Das: The current Employment Act does not fully apply to foreign workers.

KUALA LUMPUR: Tenaganita has called for a separate legislation to protect the rights of foreign ­workers, saying the current Employment Act does not have the provisions to do so.

Tenaganita director Glorene Das said incidences of abuse among domestic workers were on the rise due to existing loopholes in the Act.

“For example, a labour inspector cannot enter the private domains of a house to inspect how domestic workers are doing.

“That is why a separate legislation with proper terms and conditions are needed,” she told ­reporters at an event to mark International Migrants Day.

“After studying the current Employment Act, we realised that it does not apply fully to foreign ­workers,” she said.

Das praised the Government’s efforts to introduce the system to hire maids directly online, as it would eliminate middlemen in the process.

“Tenaganita supports direct ­hiring because domestic workers are better protected and there will be more accountability since the employer will be hiring directly from the Government,” Das said.  Read more

Give female refugees work to reduce domestic violence, Tenaganita tells Putrajaya

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Tenaganita director Aegile Fernandez – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, December 13, 2017.

FINANCIALLY independent refugee women are more resilient in the face of domestic violence, says human rights group Tenaganita executive director Glorene A. Das.

“Refugee women who are breadwinners are more respected in their communities ,” Glorene told reporters after an event to commemorate the global 16 days of activism against gender-based violence at Tenaganita’s headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.

She said even community leaders in local refugee communities respected women who provide for their families.

Malaysia only allowed Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to seek legal work in Malaysia on March 1.

There are 150,204 refugees and asylum seekers from 59 countries registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Malaysia as of May 31 this year. Read more

Castrating rapists a ‘barbaric act’, say human rights groups

Source: FMT News

PETALING JAYA: Human rights groups are opposed to a proposal that rapists be castrated as a form of punishment, urging authorities not to resort to such “violent” measures.

The proposal in question was discussed a meeting involving the Sarawak state government yesterday.

Citizen Action Group on Enforced Disappearance (CAGED) spokesperson Thomas Fann said criminal justice is a federal matter and not for any one state to discuss or decide on.

“Any irreversible procedure like castration, amputation or the death penalty should not be considered, given that no human justice system is perfect and infallible,” Fann said to FMT.

Adding that “punishment alone won’t stop such crimes”, he said it was more important to understand why sexual crimes are committed and what mechanisms can be used to ensure that victims can safely report their situations. Read more

Tubuhkan badan bebas untuk pendatang lapor polis korup

Source: FMT News

Tenaganita dakwa anggota polis menyasarkan dan memeras wang dari mangsa yang sama sambil mengancam akan menghantar mereka pulang. Gambar dipetik dari FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Kerajaan perlu menubuhkan badan bebas untuk pendatang asing melaporkan anggota polis korup yang memeras mereka, kata Tenaganita.

Pengarah Aegile Fernandez kata pendatang asing sering menjadi mangsa anggota polis yang melakukan pemeriksaan tidak sah di mana banyak kes membawa kepada pemerasan wang.

“Perlu ada saluran bebas yang jelas untuk mangsa membuat laporan,” kata Fernandez kepada FMT sambil mencadangkan pendatang asing merujuk kepada Suhakam sebagai saluran untuk membuat laporan.

Fernandez mengulas kes 3 polis peronda yang dikenakan tindakan disiplin selepas dimarahi ketua polis negara yang mengesan mereka melangkaui kuasa dengan memeriksa seorang pendatang asing wanita. Read more

Bangladeshi relives horror as a trafficked person

Source: FMT News

Man says he spent 45 days on a ship with 500 others after being abducted by someone claiming to be an employment agent. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Kareem (not his real name) first considered becoming a migrant worker in Malaysia when he heard his neighbours in Bangladesh discussing the idea.

“I wanted to give a better life to my wife and two children, but I deliberated for some time on whether I should leave,” he said at a press conference on the subject of human trafficking.

He said he sought information on the process of getting a job in Malaysia from a man claiming to be an employment agent.

“He quoted me prices for tourist and student visas, but the amounts were too high, costing from RM15,000 to RM20,000. I could not afford them.” Read more

Tenaganita questions political will to fight human trafficking

Source: FMT News

NGO’s executive director Glorene Das quizzes government over lack of transparency in investigations following discovery of Wang Kelian mass grave in Perlis. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita has questioned the government’s political will to combat human trafficking almost two years after horrific graves were found at Wang Kelian near the Malaysian-Thai border.

Its executive director Glorene Das has asked the government to specify what action has been taken against the alleged perpetrators.

“This Sunday (yesterday) marked the second anniversary of the Wang Kelian mass grave discovery,” she told FMT.

“There seems to be no transparency on the arrests, investigations and prosecutions. So far we know that few foreign nationals were charged over their involvement in trafficking of the victims,” she added.

In May 2015, security forces found the site of a jungle camp used by human traffickers where 139 graves of victims, believed to be ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar, were found near the Perlis border town of Wang Kelian. Read more

Maintain ban on Cambodian maids, says Tenaganita

Source: FMT News

The freeze should continue until the government makes changes to its institutional framework to ensure the recognition of domestic workers as workers, says Tenaganita executive director. Pic from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Tenaganita has called on the Cambodian government to continue to freeze the recruitment of domestic workers to Malaysia for now.

Its executive director, Glorene A Das, said the freeze should continue until the Malaysian government makes changes to its institutional framework to ensure the recognition of domestic workers as workers.

“The Employment Act clearly fails to protect the rights of domestic workers, who continue to be recognised only as ‘servants’ under the act,” Das said.

She said this definition would continue to lead to a relationship of master–servant where the employer had total control over the worker and thus could exploit her.

“Whenever there is publicity over an abuse or death of a domestic worker, the government, through its ministers, gives political assurances that do not convert to a rights protection framework,” Das said in a statement today. Read more