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17 Jan 2019

amfori, Ethical Trading Initiative, Ethical Trading Initiative Norway, Social Accountability International & Sedex

CSOs express migrant worker concerns in open letter to Malaysian Govt

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"Situation of migrant workers in Malaysia", 17 January 2019

Dear Minister Kulasegaran,

We... write you to express our concerns about the situation of migrant workers and refugees working in Malaysia and would like to offer our support in creating an environment that is conducive to business and respects human rights. Our organisations represent a large number of international brands, retailers, suppliers and public bodies that source a significant share of products and services from Malaysia...

We have been closely observing recent developments related to the employment conditions of migrant workers in rubber gloves and condom factories exporting to Europe, the USA, Australia, Japan and across the world. We are concerned about allegations of severe violations of workers’ and human rights... that may constitute forced labour or create the conditions that pose a high risk of modern slavery. We are also concerned about the recent announcement... to introduce salary deductions to retain migrant workers in their employment. Such action could generate risks of debt bondage....

... we would like to recommend that you: a) Reconsider... the current proposal to deduct 20% of migrant workers’ earnings without workers’ consent, which violates international labour standards...

Signatories: amfori; Ethical Trading Initiative; Ethical Trading Initiative Norway; Social Accountability International; Sedex

Read the full letter, including recommendations, here.