PETALING JAYA: Most cases involving the abuse of migrant workers occur deep in jungles and in plantations located far from towns, the human rights organisation Tenaganita has alleged.
According to Tenaganita executive director Glorene Das, the abused workers, including those with families, are kept in “absolute isolation” from the outside world.
“Many don’t even know where they are and are too afraid to leave or run away because they have been threatened by the employers and agents, who use local gangsters to control them,” she told FMT.
She said Tenaganita was also aware of families brought into Malaysia on tourist visas and then sent to work deep in the jungles. She said they would remain in employment after the expiry of their visas.
“The agents and employers practise this form of exploitation and violation because there is no clear comprehensive policy for recruitment, placement and employment of migrant workers,” she added.
She was responding to a recent news report about human trafficking and the abuse of eighteen people at an oil palm plantation in Pengkalan Hulu.
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. After their rescue, they told police they were made to work long hours, with the children forced to carry the harvested fruits. Read more