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Article

4 Jan 2022

Author:
Cheah Chor Sooi, Focus Malaysia

Will Suhakam endorsement clear ATA IMS’ forced labour allegation?

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4 January 2021

[...]

Describing Suhakam’s involvement as “bizarre”, migrant worker rights specialist Andy Hall raised concerns that the commission does not possess the relevant expertise in social auditing and detailed/forensic forced labour issues to endorse ATA IMS’ labour practices.

“It’s very strange to see a NHRI (national human rights institution) be used like this by a failing single company … the reputation of Suhakam will surely get more damaged here,” Hall pointed out in a query to Suhakam which was sighted by FocusM.

“It’s incredibly challenging for anyone – even the most experienced of forced labour auditors – to properly detect sensitive forced labour situations even after days of being at a at risk or suspected premises.”

Hall further enquired how many days had Suhakam spent at ATA IMS’ premises “and how many workers were appropriately surveyed and across how many sites?”

“Or was this just a window shopping exercise, officials taken to where the company wanted you to be shown?” he cheekily probed.

“Is Suhakam going to issue its own independent report and related media statement and materials with a proper methodological discussion of the reliability of auditing techniques used during its visit to ensure an accurate public understanding about workers’ living and work/forced labour conditions at ATA IMS?”

[...]

Part of the following timelines

Malaysia: Media reports allege electronics manufacturer press workers to clock overtime beyond limits & subjects them to 'squalid' accommodations

Malaysia: Dyson decides to terminate relationship with ATA IMS; remediation of adversely impacted workers urged