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28 May 2024

By Jason Thomas, Free Malaysia Today (Malaysia)

Malaysia yet to respond to UN concerns on Bangladeshi migrants

Malaysia has yet to respond to a letter from the United Nations (UN) regarding allegations of fraudulent recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers by criminal networks.

The previously confidential communication, now available online, is said to have gone unanswered for 60 days…

In a March 28 letter addressed to Malaysia’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, four UN experts said they were concerned about the deceptive practice of fake companies recruiting workers from Bangladesh, purportedly for employment in Malaysia.

The letter claimed that the workers were forced into paying exorbitant recruitment fees, pushing them into debt bondage.

The experts noted that, on arrival, many Bangladeshi migrant workers find that jobs previously promised to them are non-existent. The workers’ plight then forces them into overstaying their visa, risking arrest, detention, ill-treatment and deportation, they added.

Stressing that the situations described by these workers may amount to human trafficking and forced labour, the experts said the reported violations align with forced labour indicators established by the International Labour Organization…

Highlighting the names of several businesses believed to be operating as bogus employers, the letter claimed that areas such as Cheras and Chow Kit, both in Kuala Lumpur, and Pengerang, in Johor, have a notable concentration of such workers…