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15 Oct 2020

Free Malaysia Today

USA: Dep't of Labor adds Malaysian rubber gloves to list of forced labour-produced goods following revelations of migrant worker abuse

“US adds Malaysian rubber gloves onto list of goods produced with force labour”, 14 October 2020

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has added Malaysian rubber gloves to its latest list of goods produced with forced labour…

The previous List of Goods Produced by Child Labour or Forced Labour report published in 2018 had the country’s electronics, garments and palm oil industries included in the child and forced labour category. All three industries were also included in this year’s edition of the list.

Released late last month, the 2020 edition claimed that forced labour in Malaysia’s rubber glove industry predominantly occurred among the estimated 42,500 migrant workers from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Nepal, who were employed in over 100 rubber glove factories throughout the country.

“Workers are frequently subject to high recruitment fees to secure employment that often keeps them in debt bondage; forced to work overtime in excess of the time allowed by Malaysian law; and work in factories where temperatures can reach dangerous levels,” said the DOL in the report which accompanied the list.

Such transgressions satisfy the International Labour Organisation’s forced labour indicators.

The list contains no punitive actions and is meant to serve as a catalyst for strategic and focused coordination and collaboration to address the issues of forced labour and child labour.

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