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HR Minister: Initiatives in Progress to Combat Forced Labour

HR Minister: Initiatives in Progress to Combat Forced Labour 

Bernama, June 16, 2023 7:51 PM

Efforts to combat forced labour in the country have been significantly intensified since the implementation of the Labour Act 1955 (Amendment 2022) on January 1 of this year, according to Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar. 

In an official statement, the minister highlighted the key amendment in Section 90B of the Act, which specifically addresses forced labour and introduces penalties for employers found guilty of such offenses. 

These measures are part of a comprehensive approach to tackle forced labour, as identified in the recent Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report for 2023 released by the US Department of State. 

Minister Sivakumar expressed the country’s appreciation for the report, which upgraded Malaysia’s status to Tier 2 Watch List, indicating progress from its previous Tier 3 designation for two consecutive years. 

To enhance enforcement, the labour department’s role will be reinforced by increasing the capacity of labour inspectors, thereby facilitating more prosecutions against employers involved in forced labour. 

Furthermore, Malaysia intends to strengthen collaboration with the United States through the establishment of a joint working group, aiming to improve the country’s reputation while ensuring that local products are not subjected to any restrictions, such as a withhold release order imposed by the US Customs and Border Protection Department due to forced labour concerns. 

The government is actively engaging with trade unions, employers’ federations, and industries to implement the National Action Plan on Forced Labour (NAPFL) 2021-2025, underscoring Malaysia’s commitment as a signatory to the 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention 1930 (P29). These efforts also address the management of foreign workers, including establishing strategic cooperation with countries that serve as major sources of migrant labour. 

Source: https://www.malaysianow.com/news/2023/06/16/efforts-to-end-forced-labour-underway-hr-minister-says

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