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26 Mär 2020

Predeep Nambiar, Free Malaysia Today

USA lifts ban on Malaysian medical glovemaker amid COVID-19 demand; activist warns forced labour likely 'still rife'

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"Forced labour likely still rife at glove companies, says activist", 25 March 2020

An international... activist today said medical glove makers in Malaysia and Thailand continue to run at a high risk of using forced labour to run their factories.

Migrant worker activist Andy Hall said while there has been improvement at these glove factories over the past year, international monitors such as the International Labour Organisation still indicate that there could be elements of forced labour.

He was responding to news of the lifting of sanctions by the United States against a Malaysian medical glove maker with a history of forced labour use earlier today...

He said despite the glove-making companies' commitment to getting rid of this recruitment fee since 2019, most of the migrant workers are "paying too much" to land jobs in glove factories...

[He said:] 'These workers, some of the invisible heroes of modern times in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic... shouldn't have to pay for this essential life-saving work. And buyers and governments must commit to paying back all the costs of their work,"... [T]he authorities must make sure workers... are provided with attendance and risk bonuses, additional food and housing benefits. "Not to mention protective equipment and procedures to ensure they and their families do not fall victim to the Covid-19, too."...


Part of the following timelines

Malaysia: Medical & rubber glove manufacturers accused of subjecting migrant workers to forced labour & withholding wages

Malaysia: Medical glove manufacturers see surge in orders due to COVID-19, amid forced labour concerns