Almost one-third of Malaysian domestic workers in forced labour conditions: UN survey

almost one third of malaysian domestic workers in forced labour conditions un survey

almost one third of malaysian domestic workers in forced labour conditions un survey

Last updated on June 16th, 2023 at 04:59 am

Nearly one-third of migrant workers in Malaysia are subjected to forced labour, according to a groundbreaking survey released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a United Nations (UN) agency.

On Thursday, the UN labour agency issued the survey. The ILO revealed that almost one-third of migrant workers employed in domestic families in Malaysia worked in forced labour conditions. 

The ILO conducted a survey of 1,201 domestic workers in Southeast Asia. It found that 29% of those in Malaysia faced forced labour conditions, compared to 7% and 4% in its neighbour countries, Singapore and Thailand, respectively.

According to an ILO survey, almost one-third Malaysian domestic workers faced problems like excessive working hours, unpaid overtime, low wages, restricted movement, and an inability to quit the job.

Wannarat Srisuksai, a spokesperson for Thailand’s labour ministry, said that the condition of migrant workers in the country improved after laws were introduced in 2012 to protect them. 

However, the ILO said that the domestic workers surveyed in Southeast Asia earned no minimum wage for their hard work. Anna Engblom, chief technical adviser at the ILO programme, said, “Domestic work is one of the most important tasks in our society, yet it is provided with the least protection. This can no longer be accepted.”

The ILO urged the three countries – Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand – to ratify U.N. conventions on domestic workers and forced labour. The ILO urged these countries to ensure the safety of migrant workers.

Keep Reading

Households in Malaysia employ domestic workers to carry out housekeeping tasks like cooking, cleaning, childcare, and gardening. Malaysia has faced criticism over its treatment of migrant workers in the country. 

Earlier, reports emerged that Indonesian domestic workers were abused in Malaysian households. According to the UN, Indonesians make up around 80 per cent of domestic workers in Malaysia.

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