On World Day Against Child Labour, UN urges protection for children in conflicts and disasters

Source: Malaysia Sun

Photo from Malaysia Sun.

12 June 2017 — Children in areas affected by conflict and disasters are among the most vulnerable, the United Nations International Labour Organization (ILO) in warning on the World Day Against Child Labour, making a strong call for an end to the scourge, especially as children trapped in crisis risk falling prey to trafficking or being forced into hazardous work. “All children have the right to be protected from child labour,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder in a statement on the World Day. “Yet, around the world, there are still 168 million children in child labour. Eighty-five million of them are engaged in hazardous work.”

A significant portion these children find themselves undertaking dangerous work, living in areas affected by conflict and disaster and they are the focus of the 2017 commemoration of the World Day, marked annually on 12 June.

As the world strives to achieve the elimination of child labour by 2025, the UN underlined that conflicts and disasters have a devastating impact on people’s lives. They kill, maim, injure and force people to flee their homes; destroy livelihoods, push people into poverty and starvation, and trap many in situations without basic safeguard for their rights. Read more

Suhakam calls on gov’t to monitor, regulate businesses to prevent child labour

Source: The Sun Daily

SUHAKAMPETALING JAYA: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said the government must monitor and regulate businesses to prevent child labour.

This also extends to lawmakers who should unite in solidarity to fight human trafficking.

“The government has committed significant resources to combating trafficking in persons and Suhakam will continue to engage with all stakeholders to ensure that human trafficking and modern day slavery remains high on our agenda,” its chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement.

He added that Suhakam will discuss the issue with all parties including parliamentarians and government agencies.

He went on to remind all that human trafficking is a serious criminal offence and a grave violation of human rights.

“It roots its profit from human suffering.

“Suhakam reiterates that child labour violates the fulfilment of the full range of children’s rights as contained in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC),” he said. 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

Perak police have evidence children used as forced labour in Gerik

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik. — Pic from AFP.

Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik. — Pic from AFP.

SUNGAI SIPUT, Feb 28 — Perak police said they have evidence of children being used as forced labour believed by a human trafficking syndicate in Pengkalan Hulu, Gerik detected on Sunday.

Perak Police acting chief Datuk Hasnan Hassan said it was based on information received and thorough investigations carried out by the police on the case.

“But we cannot disclose more details on the investigations to protect the safety of the informant,” he told reporters after the handing over of duties relating to the Sungai Siput District Police chief here today.

At the event, Perak Police Standard Compliance and Integrity Department head Supt Abd Fatah Abd Rahman was appointed as the new Sungai Siput District Police chief effective today to replace Supt Abdul Aziz Ahmad who is on mandatory retirement.

Abd Fatah, 55, who served 32 years in the police force, had worked in the Special Branch, Anti-Vice, Gambling and Secret Societies Division (D7) and Management Department’s Administrative Division.  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

Rightless, Rohingya children at risk to vice and slave labour

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Undocumented migrants cannot legally work in Malaysia, and their children are also not provided with healthcare or education by the state, which worsens their desperation. — Reuters pic.

Undocumented migrants cannot legally work in Malaysia, and their children are also not provided with healthcare or education by the state, which worsens their desperation. — Reuters pic.

AMPANG, Dec 20 — At 8am each day, a dark-skinned boy dressed in a worn Baju Melayu, torn pants and a skull cap will loiter at the busy bus stop across the Ampang Point Mall here, where commuters gather on their way to work.

With a blank expression, the boy, likely in his early teens, tirelessly approaches one commuter after another. Once he gains their attention, he clasps his hands together in a pleading gesture and begs for money.

Some give, others do not. But most relent when the boy points to his feet; his left foot is partially amputated. A rusty old pair of crutches helps the boy walk.

“I’m usually hesitant to give money because I think they end up giving it to the syndicates. But I can’t help but feel sorry since he’s crippled,” said a young professional Malay man who gave RM1 to the boy. Read more

Profit vs Humanity: Which side are we on?

Source: Asian Correspondent

In our pursuit of wealth, have we lost our love for humanity? Source: alexmillos/Shutterstock

In our pursuit of wealth, have we lost our love for humanity? Source: alexmillos/Shutterstock

IT’s hard to ignore the ever increasing disparity of wealth throughout our world.

For many, they’ve never had it so good. More money, more possessions, more food than any one person could ever feasibly need. But alongside this world of excess resides a world of abject poverty and despair.

These two worlds are not mutually exclusive; sadly it is often the desperation of those most vulnerable that drives the profits of the wealthy. Major multinational corporations (MNC) are not only exploiting this disparity but enhancing it with systems of production that directly perpetuate the inequalities.

Harsh reminders of this lopsided system have come to light this week in a number of reports detailing extreme labour exploitation occurring throughout the region.

On Wednesday, Amnesty International released its damning report of child labour occurring on Indonesian palm plantations. Children as young as eight were reported to be working in “hazardous” conditions for long hours and low pay. Wilmar International Ltd, the Singapore based company who runs the offending plantations, supplies their product to global consumer companies including Unilever, Nestle, Kellogg and Procter & Gamble.

Another instance came to light from a Guardian investigation into the exploitation of migrant workers in McDonald’s restaurants in Malaysia. The Nepalese workers were deprived of their passports, paid a fraction of their promised wages and made to live in squalor while Human Connection HR, the recruitment company responsible, turned a profit and McDonald’s reaped the benefits of cheap labour. Read more

Survey finds most auditors in Asia find child labour in supply chains

Source: The Malay Mail Online

A boy works at a seafood export factory in Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone, outside Yangon, February 19, 2016. — Reuters pic.JPG

A boy works at a seafood export factory in Hlaingthaya Industrial Zone, outside Yangon, February 19, 2016. — Reuters pic.

JAKARTA, June 22 — The majority of supply chain auditors across Asia have encountered child labour in the last two years, and in only a third of cases could they confirm the children were removed from the factories, a survey has found.

Of 557 auditors polled, 64 per cent encountered child labour during their on-site inspections in the last two years, said the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR CSR), a China-based consultancy that conducted the survey.

The auditors were mostly in the manufacturing sector, and most — 385 of the respondents — were from China, while others were based in countries including India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar and Malaysia.

The consultancy said the findings, released last week, showed a “surprisingly high” number of child labour cases encountered by auditors and noted there was often no remediation in place to ensure the interests of the child were protected.

“Right now it is more like ‘let’s just make sure the child is not in the factory’ and not ‘what do we need to do to make sure the child is protected?’” CCR CSR executive director Ines Kaempfer told Thomson Reuters Foundation. Read more