Friday, 9 December 2011

NGOs draw “wish list” to make HK fairer to ethnic minorities

Press Release 07 December 2011

For reference: Cynthia Tellez Elijah Fung Sr. Felicitas Nisperos

Tel. No.: 97409406, 9048-4645, 91832518

They have been relegated to the sidelines for far too long. Ethnic minorities deserve a fairer Hong Kong.

This was declared by the Coalition of Service Providers for Ethnic Minorities (CSPEM), at the conclusion of the National Consultation of Service Providers in Hong Kong held December 6 at the Fanny Li Hall of the St. John’s Cathedral.

“Ethnic minorities, including the more than 250,000 foreign domestic workers who are mostly Asian women, are active members of the society. In the economic, political, social and cultural spheres, ethnic minorities provide valuable contribution that improves Hong Kong. Unfortunately, there are policies and practices that show the unfair treatment of ethnic minorities,” she remarked.

The conference drew in 26 participants from major NGOs and faith-based groups that conduct advocacy and provide various kinds of direct services to ethnic minorities including counseling, education and information, shelter services and assistance for social integration.

According to CSPEM, the conference was held to discuss the issues and problems of ethnic minorities based on the actual experiences of the participants in service provision, and come up with a “wish list” that shall be presented to relevant HK government agencies. The said list will be the focus of advocacy and lobbying of the service providers to the Executive Committee, Legislative Council and various other government agencies including the Immigration Department, Police Department, Labour Department, Hospital Authority, Leisure and Cultural Services Department and the Food, Environment and Hygiene Department.

“We just want FDWs to get a fair deal in Hong Kong. They are integral parts of our lives and deserve equal and just treatment than they have been experiencing due to policies that expose them to abusive treatment and practices that have long been permitted.”

Some of the reforms that the participants wish to advance were: ensuring that the HK Police, interpreters and hospital personnel are culture and gender-sensitive in dealing with FDWs, instituting an anti-labor trafficking law in Hong Kong, relaxing stringent rules in public parks where FDWs congregate, exemption from visa fee for terminated FDWs, and allowing FDWs with ongoing cases to work and find an employer.

On December 18, participating service providers shall present the wish list to the government to also coincide with the global celebration of the United Nations’ International Migrants Day.

“A fairer Hong Kong shall show that our society upholds the rights of all people. A fairer Hong Kong shall show that we are respectful of others, inclusive and we recognize the importance and role of everyone in building our society. Ethnic minorities deserve better and it is high time that they are treated right,” the CSPEM concluded.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

IMA Hong Kong protests 5th GFMD

IMA Hong Kong protests 5th GFMD

The International Migrants Alliance Hong Kong (IMA-HK) led a picket protest at the Swiss Consulate General today, December 1, as an expression of its involvement in the global migrant movement against the Global Forum on Migration and Development, which is holding its 5th round in Geneva, Switzerland from now until tomorrow, December 2. The Swiss government is host to the 5th round of the GFMD.

Carrying colored placards that read “No to GFMD!”, “We are workers, we are not slaves!” and “No to forced labor migration!”, around 20 migrant workers and their advocates walked at a slow pace along the footbridge that led to Central Plaza, where the Swiss Consulate General is situated.

Once in front of the Central Plaza building, a short program ensued with Eman Villanueva, secretary general of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-IMA), reading the statement that the IMA released on the occasion of the 5th GFMD.

Other organizations participating in the protest were the Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM), Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers (ATKI-HK), Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU-HK), Asia Pacific Students and Youth Association (ASA), Filipino Migrant Workers Union, Association of Filipino Women Migrant Workers (FILWOM), and Filipino Migrants Association (FMA-HK).

Draft resolution may be one sided

Indonesia Scores in Fight for Women Migrant Workers Protection

Ismira Lutfia | November 24, 2011 / Jakarta Globe

A UN committee has approved a draft resolution presented by Indonesia on violence against women migrant workers, but activists warn that it wields no power unless it is ratified by all host and origin countries.

In a statement released on Thursday, Yusra Khan, Indonesian deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, said that the resolution was meant to improve protection for women migrant workers from violence, abuse, discrimination and exploitation.

The resolution was initiated by the Philippines and Indonesia, the countries sending out the highest number of migrant workers, and was approved by consensus at a meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly.

“The issue of violence against migrant workers, especially women, has long been a major concern for the government and the people of Indonesia,” Yusra said.

“This resolution stresses the importance of a holistic approach in dealing with women migrant workers, where protection of the workers’ rights must be accompanied by efforts to recognize their dignity and their contribution to the development of the community in both the origin and destination countries.”

According to a UN statement, the approval means the General Assembly will call on governments that have not yet done so to “adopt and implement legislation and policies that protect all women migrant domestic workers and call on them — in particular those of the countries of origin and destination — to put in place penal and criminal sanctions.”

It also urged all governments to “take action to prevent and punish any form of illegal deprivation of the liberty of women migrant workers by individuals or groups.”

Haris Azhar, coordinator of the Commission on Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), welcomed the approval of the draft resolution, but raised some doubt about its effectiveness.

“It’s a positive step, but a resolution is politically binding by nature, and not legally binding, which would require all governments to implement it into their legal systems,” he said.

He added that it was important that the provisions in the resolution be made legally binding for all destination countries for migrant workers that were members of the United Nations.

“If it’s only adopted by countries that send migrant workers, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, and not by the host countries, then it will be one-sided,” Haris said.

See the article here

Mixed results for permanent residency fight for migrant domestic workers

Foreign maids in Hong Kong fight for permanent residency

Unlike lawyers or bankers, domestic workers are barred from seeking permanent residency even after decades in the city. Recent legal challenges have produced mixed results.

For the last 20 years, Josephine Gutierrez, a native of the Philippines, toiled six days a week in the home of a Hong Kong family. On her day off, she attended church and was active in charity work. Her fourth child was born in Hong Kong.

But a Hong Kong court has ruled that she doesn't have the right to permanently settle in the city she has called home since 1991.

At the heart of the case is Hong Kong's immigration ordinance, which bars domestic workers and contract laborers from being eligible for permanent residence. Lawyers, bankers or teachers, among other professionals, are allowed to apply for residence after seven years.

The judge ruled that Gutierrez and her son had failed to demonstrate they had made Hong Kong their permanent home.

"There is a distinction between severing links with one's country of origin and the making of Hong Kong as one's permanent residence," Judge Johnson Lam wrote in his ruling this month. "Before one can make a place his or her only permanent residence, he or she must take some concrete steps turning such aspiration into a realistic proposition in terms of long-term livelihood at that place."

The vast majority of Hong Kong's 292,000 domestic workers are from
Southeast Asia, mainly Indonesia and the Philippines. These two groups made up 2.9% of the population, according to the 2006 census. White foreigners from Western countries, in contrast, made up 0.5%.

Gutierrez can remain in Hong Kong as long as she continues working and has a visa sponsored by her employer. She applied for residency in the hope of retiring in the city.

"This shows how difficult it is to become a permanent resident in Hong Kong," said attorney Mark Daly, who represents Gutierrez and other maids fighting for residency, according to the
South China Morning Post. Daly said Gutierrez and her son would appeal the case, the paper reported.

In September, Lam sided with another domestic worker, Evangeline Banao Vallejos, saying rules that prevented her from applying for permanent residency were unconstitutional. The government has said it will appeal.

Vallejos has lived in the city since 1986 and has been working for the same family for more than two decades. The judge ruled that she had planted enough roots to warrant granting the right of abode.

Political parties and organizations in the city worry that allowing domestic workers to gain permanent residency would put a burden on Hong Kong's social services and lead to an influx of additional immigrants, as maids sponsor family members for visas.

In a sign that a majority of Hong Kong citizens are opposed to the maids' cause, a political party that supported immigration rights for the maids incurred heavy losses in a district council election this month.

As a result, party leader Alan Leong told a TV station, the Civic Party won't support granting permanent residence status to half a million domestic workers and their families.

At the same time, experts believe Vallejos' case has the potential to give all domestic workers the chance to apply for permanent residency by striking down the ban on their doing so.

"The legal argument of the foreign domestic workers is quite strong and the court's judgment was thoroughly reasoned," said Kelley Loper, an assistant law professor at the University of Hong Kong. "I think the case has a good chance of holding up in the higher courts."

If Vallejos prevails at the Court of Final Appeal, the highest court in Hong Kong, the government or the court can still ask that the case be taken up by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in
Beijing. That body has the ultimate jurisdiction for interpreting the Basic Law, the city's constitution.

And even if maids win the right to apply, immigration officials would still determine whether they meet the criteria for residency, Loper said.

Some officials in Hong Kong are already calling for the government to preempt a high court decision and have Beijing step in. The last time Beijing interpreted the Basic Law on an immigration issue was in 1999 when it reversed a court decision that would have allowed as many as 300,000 mainland Chinese to claim residency.

Read article here

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Nepalese migrant domestic workers suffer abuses

Nepal’s economy dependent on exploitation

A poor economy and lack of opportunities are forcing more and more Nepalese women to leave home and earn money abroad as domestic workers. Separated from their own children to take care of other women’s children in the Middle East or America, many of these women are mistreated and exploited. Aware of the risks, tens of thousands continue to leave every year.

Luna Ranjit, co-founder and executive director of Adhikaar at a conference organized by the Migration Initiative of the OSI Foundation. Photo credit: Louise de Hemptinne

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, with only $1.20 GDP per capita. Only recently emerged from a decade-long civil war and historically dependent on an unpredictable agricultural sector, a new source of income has recently become prominent. Remittances – money sent back by Nepalese workers abroad – comes to some $1.5 billion, representing almost a quarter of Nepal’s GDP.

Since the 1990s, in light of increased globalization, more and more women are joining the ranks of Nepalese migrant workers. Of the approximately 83,000 Nepalese women that leave the country every year to work for foreign employers, fully 90 percent are victims of exploitation or sexual violence, says a study by the Foreign Nepali Workers Rescue Center (FNWRC).

“In the absence of fruitful opportunities at home, Nepalese women are leaving to earn money abroad, most often as domestic workers,” Luna Ranjit, co-Founder and Executive Director of Adhikaar, a New York-based non-profit working to empower their community, tells MediaGlobal. “Most know about the possibilities of being exploited and mistreated, but they are dreaming about better futures for themselves and their children; leaving the country appears thus as the only solution.”

Indonesian Domestic Workers to return to Malaysia

Concerns raised as govt to resume sending workers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 11/19/2011

As the Indonesian government looks set to lift a moratorium on sending migrant workers to Malaysia, workers’ advocate group Migrant Care is wondering whether the two countries can guarantee protection for workers.

The government issued the ban on sending workers to the neighboring country in June 2009, following reports of mistreatment and abuse of Indonesian migrant workers by their Malaysian employers.

However, the government recently decided that it would lift the moratorium on Dec. 1, after it had signed an MoU with Malaysia earlier in the year. The agreement, the government said, was a response to Malaysia’s “improving” stance on the treatment of foreign workers.

The MoU consists of clauses that regulates workers’ rights, such as the right to retain their passports, have their wages transferred via an approved bank and a minimum wage of RM 700 — basic rights, of which they were previously deprived.

On Friday, the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BNP2TKI) announced that around 80,000 Indonesian workers were ready to be flown to Malaysia after the lifting of the moratorium next month.

Prior to the ban, there were around 2 million Indonesians working in Malaysia, approximately half of whom worked illegally. Most of them were employed as domestic workers, while others worked in construction, on plantations and in factories.

Anis Hidayah, executive director of Migrant Care, an organization working for the protection of domestic workers, expressed skepticism at the announcement.

read the full article here

Centers shut and Cambodian domestic workers sent home

Cambodia closes maid centres

By P. ARUNA The Star Online


KUALA LUMPUR: All Cambodian training centres for domestic workers bound for Malaysia have been shut down and the maids sent home, leaving little hope of any maids coming here from the country. Malaysian employers and agencies, which have already paid for the maids, are now in a quandary.

The 36 centres in Cambodia had been ordered by the authorities there to be shut down until a mechanism was found to protect the maids, said the Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap).

The maids, who had returned to their villages, include the 3,500 who had already been “booked” and paid for by prospective employers. On Oct 14, it was announced that Cambodia would no longer send its workers here. The decision came as a severe blow to local maid agencies.

Despite several meetings with Cambodian authorities to appeal for the 3,500 maids to be sent over, Pikap president Datuk Raza Zulkepley Dahalan said there was still no indication of whether the maids would be released. “During our recent visit to the country, we found there was a directive from the Cambodian Government for all the training centres to be shut down,” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

It was reported that Malaysian employers and maid agencies had paid over RM20mil to their counterparts in Cambodia for maids and that the fees were now “stuck” in the country. “We urge employers not to pressure the maid agencies as we are stuck as well. “Please give us time to resolve this matter,” he said. He added that Pikap and the Association of Cambodian Recruit­ment Agencies would be setting up shelters for maids who were mistreated here.

He said this was to show the Cambodian Goverment that Malaysia was committed to protecting the welfare of their maids. “We plan to set up three shelters, starting with one here,” he said, adding that Pikap would also be setting up a mediation centre.

Monday, 21 November 2011

CNN trafficking report includes Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia

In Cambodia, anti-slavery reforms questioned. By David Ariosto, CNN

Domestic labor in Malaysia
Drawn by the prospect of a better life and the promise of more money, many young Cambodian maids working in Malaysia said they were recruited to go there by labor agencies, now only to find themselves unable to leave.

The women - often subject to poor treatment in prison-like facilities - forfeit their passports and are commonly left in a situation tantamount to indentured servitude, said Manfred Hornung, a legal adviser for the Cambodian Rights Group, Licadho.

On October 15, however, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a measure into law banning the practice of sending domestic workers to Malaysia, perhaps in response to mounting criticism.

The ban was enacted just days after a report by CNN's Dan Rivers examined a recruitment agency in the Cambodian capital.

The story "that aired on CNN has actually awakened the country up the whole country on this human trafficking issue again," said Cambodian parliament member Mu Sochua. "I have to say that his piece is just one little part of the whole problem, which is much worse."

She said the report prompted her to further petition the country's leadership to take action.

But only weeks later, Sochua told CNN that labor recruitment agencies in her country were still sending domestic workers to Malaysia, adding that many government officials either own or have close ties to the companies.

Read the full article here...

Sri Lanka to increase numbers of migrant domestic workers

Alive or Beheaded this Maid is a Heroine
By Aditya Alles Sri Lanka, Nov 14, 2011 (IPS)

Senior minister Sarath Amunugama believes that if Sri Lanka doubles the number of people working overseas to around three million, it could quickly decrease national poverty levels in this island nation with an economy recovering from decades of ethnic conflict.

"One of the shortest ways to grow and to get out of poverty is to encourage migration from 1.6 million now to three million," said Amunugama at the launch of the U.N. Population Fund's annual report on Oct. 31.

Economists estimate that domestic workers contribute at least 30 percent of the over four billion dollars repatriated annually to this country and provide a vital lifeline to the economy.

There is, however, a price to be paid. Many of the women are known to suffer severe abuse at the hands of their employers – two of them returned to the island from the Middle East last year with nails hammered into their bodies.

Read the full article here.

The Philipines Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Facebook

Dole taps Facebook to raise support for domestic workers

Friday, November 11, 2011

THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) has turned to the largest social networking site Facebook to raise public awareness and support for the ratification of the International Labor Organization (ILo) Convention 189 and the Kasambahay bill passage.

Dole’s Labor and Communications Office has opened a site called I Support Kasambahay on Facebook to provide online ‘netizens’ a venue to find out what ILO Convention 189 and the Kasambahay bill are all about and to express their views and comments on these two landmark documents.

House Bill 553 or the proposed Magna Carta for Household Helpers sets standards for the employment of domestic workers following the ILO adoption of Convention 189 for the protection of household helpers.

“The I Support Kasambahay Facebook page aims to publicize the events and activities of the Dole under its Action Plan for the ratification of ILO Convention 189. It also seeks to raise the level of knowledge of the general public on the salient features of the convention and the benefits that will accrue to the country once it is ratified,” a Dole advisory explained.

There is a link to the Dole page on our facebook page here

See the full article here.


Thursday, 10 November 2011

Cambodian / Malaysian agreement in the future?

Cambodian MP wants bilateral agreement on domestic workers

Stephanie Sta Maria | November 9, 2011 Free Malaysia Today

Cambodian opposition MP, Mu Sochua, is determined to push for a bilateral agreement between Cambodia and Malaysia on the protection of Cambodian domestic workers here.

According to her, a mere memorandum of understanding, as suggested by Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam would be insufficient in addressing and resolving the issue of Cambodian domestic worker abuse in Malaysia.

Cambodia last month imposed a temporary ban on its citizens from working in Malaysian households following allegations of abuse.

Sochua, who was the driving force behind the ban, is adamant that better mechanisms be put in place when it is finally lifted to guarantee the protection of domestic workers and the prosecution of those who violate the law.

In a joint press conference with Tenaganita today, she explained that a bilateral agreement is crucial because it would have to include the Asean Migrant Workers Declaration, the International Labour Organisation( ILO) Convention on Domestic Workers and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Read the article>>>

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

New report on Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia

Extend Labor Protections to Migrant Women and Girls at Home, Abroad
October 31, 2011
(Phnom Penh) – The Cambodian and Malaysian governments’ failure to regulate recruiters and employers leaves Cambodian migrant domestic workers exposed to a wide range of abuses, Human Rights Watch said in a report issued today. Tens of thousands of Cambodian women and girls who migrate to Malaysia have little protection against forced confinement in training centers, heavy debt burdens, and exploitative working conditions.

The 105-page report, “‘They Deceived Us at Every Step’: Abuse of Cambodian Domestic Workers Migrating to Malaysia,”documents Cambodian domestic workers’ experiences during recruitment, work abroad, and upon their return home. It is based on 80 interviews with migrant domestic workers, their families, government officials, nongovernmental organizations, and recruitment agents. The report highlights the numerous obstacles that prevent mistreated women and girls from obtaining justice and redress in both Cambodia and Malaysia.

“Cambodia has been eager to promote labor migration but reluctant to provide even the most basic protections for migrant women and girls,” said Jyotsna Poudyal, women’s rights research fellow at Human Rights Watch. “The government should stop abdicating responsibility to unscrupulous recruitment agencies and clean up exploitation and abuse.”

Since 2008, forty to fifty thousand Cambodian women and girls have migrated to Malaysia as domestic workers. Some recruitment agents in Cambodia forge fraudulent identity documents to recruit children, offer cash and food incentives that leave migrants and their families heavily indebted, mislead them about their job responsibilities in Malaysia, and charge excessive recruitment fees.

Read More here

Deployment ban for Filipino workers will not stop abuse

Migrant workers’ group slams ban

Published : Friday, November 04, 2011 00:00 Journal Online

THE Migrante International yesterday denounced the deployment ban for 41 countries, saying it is just a band-aid solution to the problem of abuses experienced by some overseas Filipino workers abroad.

Migrante Middle East regional coordinator John Monterona said the ban would never stop the abuse against Filipino migrant workers.

“It is quite an irony that the Philippines had issued a deployment ban for 41 countries, in addition to the 76 already in its list, while the countries being certified as ‘safety compliant’ as per Republic Act 10022 is concerned, are actually have high records of human and labor rights abuses,” he said.

Monterona pointed out that issuing a ban does not guarantee that OFWs are 100 per cent safe against abuses and maltreatment.

“The problem really is forced migration. Since joblessness is rampant in the country and the job opportunities are scarce, not to mention the grinding poverty in the Philippines, these workers are forced to accept job orders in countries included in the ban,” the militant leader said.

“The ban does not address the problem; the ban only increases the number of victims of human trafficking and those who are entering the countries, included in the ban, with fake documents. Or, those who have already been working in those countries, opt to stay although their documents have already expired,” he explained.

Read more here

Friday, 28 October 2011

Protect Workers Rights:

Media Statement – 28/10/2011 (107 Groups)

Malaysia Must Protect Worker and Union Rights, and withdraw

proposed unjust amendments to Employment Act

- Labour Suppliers Should Not Be Employers -

We, the undersigned 107 organizations, groups and networks are disturbed that the Malaysian government has proceeded to table, and get it passed speedily on 6/10/2011 at the Dewan Rakyat (House of Representative) the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2011 despite protests from workers, trade unions and civil society. The proposed changes to the Employment Act would be most detrimental to worker rights, trade unions and the existing just direct 2-party employment relationship between worker and end-user (the principal). Malaysia’s action goes contrary to justice. In many countries employers have been wrongly trying to avoid/disguise employment relationships by way of contracts/agreements and triangular relationships, and Malaysia rather than fighting against this negative trend is now trying to legalize it, hence showing itself to be anti-worker anti-unions.

We note also that the amendments would result in discrimination at the workplace, as many workers at a factory, plantation or any workplace would end up being no longer employees of the owner-operator of the said workplace, also referred to as the principal or end-user, but would remain employees of the supplier of workers, known as ‘contractor for labour’. Workers doing the same work at the factory, would be treated differently in terms of wages, work benefits and even rights by reason of the fact that their employers are different. This will also go against the Malaysian Federal Constitution that guarantees equality of persons. We advocate that all workers working at a factory or workplace are entitled to be treated equally in terms of wages, work benefits, rights, union rights, reliance on collective agreements and other entitlements.

The proposed amendment would also destroy direct employment relationships between owner-operator of workplaces, being the principal, and the workers that work there producing the product or providing the services from which these principals derive their profits. A just employment relationship dictates that all workers should be employees of the owner-operator employer not some other third party labour supplier, whether they be known as ‘contractor for labour’, outsourcing agent or by any other name. The relationship must be a direct relationship, to the exclusion of all third parties, between the employer who needs workers to do the work to produce the goods of their business for profits, and the workers directly who provide the necessary labour as required in exchange for fair wages and other benefits. The availability of short-term employment contracts is another reason why there is no need to legalize triangular or other employment relationships in Malaysia through the creation of the ‘contractor for labour’.

To fight for decent wages and rights, and to be able to negotiate and get better working conditions and other work benefits, workers at a workplace would generally come together collectively or as a union to be able to negotiate from a stronger position with employers, and this would result in agreements or ‘collective agreements’ between employers and workers (or their unions). If the amendments proposed become law, then many workers at the factory would effectively lose their rights to be able to form or be members of the trade union at the workplace, or the right to directly and effectively negotiate with the principal who effectively controls the work place, working conditions and benefits.

If the proposed amendment becomes law, effectively it will also weaken existing workers and unions, by reducing their negotiating power for now when a strike or a protest in called, there will be other workers of other third party employers who will continue to work normally thus making worker struggle for better rights almost impossible. This proposed amendment is a ‘union busting’ exercises and allows employers to utilize ‘divide and rule’ tactics to counter legitimate demands of their workers and avoid employer obligations and responsibilities. Another unjustifiable proposed changed is the delay of payment of overtime and work on rest days by a month.

With regard to sexual harassment, the new provision provides only for inquiry by employer even when the alleged perpetrator is a member of the management, a partner, shareholder and/or director of the employer’s business, and provides no clear right of appeal to the Labour Courts or the High Court. Note that other worker rights violations are currently all dealt with by the definitely more independent Labour Department or Industrial Relations Department. Remedy for the victim of sexual harassment is also absent, save maybe the right to resign without the need to give the required notice when the perpetrator is a sole proprietor.

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC), which represents over 800,000 workers of member unions, who is also is the accepted workers representative in Malaysia, picketed calling for the withdrawal of the amendments on 3/10/2011, and apparently despite the Minister assuring them that the amendment will only be tabled at the end of the month, was suddenly rushed and passed at the Lower House of Malaysia’s Parliament on 6/10/2011.

Malaysia has the Private Employment Agencies Act 1971, whereby these agencies rightfully get workers for employers, who then pay them a fee for the service, and once workers are received by the employer, these workers immediately become employees of the said employer. The amendments will creates a new kind of labour supply companies who will continue as employers of the workers even after they start working at the workplace of the principal, and this is unacceptable. All companies in the business of finding workers for companies that need workers to produce their products or for their business must be private employment agencies, and must never assume or retain the role of employers.

As the said Bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and receive royal assent, before it becomes law, we call on the Malaysian government to act in the best interest of workers and their unions and immediately withdraw this unjust proposed amendments to Employment Act 1955.

We call on Malaysia to immediately discontinue its policy of recognizing outsourcing agents, and act immediately against practices of some employers and outsourcing agents that try to avoid/disguise employment relationships to the detriment of workers and unions.

We call on countries and regional bodies, companies, ILO, trade unions and persons to do the needful to ensure that worker and union rights, not just of local but also migrant workers, are protected in Malaysia, and that the employment relationship continue to be between owner-operator end user employers who actually need workers to do work and the workers that work there to the exclusion of any third party labour suppliers or ‘contractors for labour’.

Charles Hector

Pranom Somwong

For and on behalf of the 107 Organisations listed below:-

Abra Migrant Workers Welfare Association - Hong Kong (AMWWA)

Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society - Hong Kong (ATIS-HK)

ALIRAN, Malaysia

All Women's Action Society (AWAM), Malaysia

Asian Migrants Center (AMC), Hong Kong

Asia Monitor Resource Centre (AMRC), Hong Kong

Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants (APMM)

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body - Hong Kong (AMCB)

Association for Community Development-ACD, Bangladesh

Association of Concerned Filipinos in Hong Kong (ACFIL-HK)

Association of Indonesia Migrant Workers in Indonesia (ATKI-Indonesia)

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)

BAYAN Hong Kong

Building and Wood Worker's International (BWI) Asia Pacific

Burma Campaign, Malaysia

Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)

Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)

Center for Indonesian Migrant Workers (CIMW)

Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR)

Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC)

Coordination of Action Research on Aids and Mobility (CARAM-ASIA)

Committee for Asian Women (CAW)

Community Action Network (CAN), Malaysia

Confederation of Voluntary Associations (COVA), Hyderabad, India

Cordillera Alliance Hong Kong (CORALL-HK)

Democratic Party For A New Society (DPNS), Burma

Dignity International, Malaysia

Education and Research Association for Consumers Malaysia (ERA Consumer Malaysia)

Filipino Friends Hong Kong (FFHK)

Filipino Migrants Association - Hong Kong (FMA)

Filipino Migrant Workers' Union - Hong Kong (FMWU)

Filipino Women Migrant Workers Association - Hong Kong (FILWOM-HK)

Foundation for Women, Thailand

Friends of Bethune House (FBH), Hong Kong


GABRIELA Philippines

Good Shepherd Sisters, Malaysia

Health Equity Initiatives (HEI), Malaysia

Housing Rights Task Force, Cambodia

Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB)

Human Security Alliance (HSA)

International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF)

IMA Research Foundation, Bangladesh

INFID (International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development )

Institute for National and Democratic Studies (INDIES)

International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)

Jakarta Legal Aid Institute, Indonesia

JERIT, Malaysia

Karmojibi Nari , Bangladesh

Kalyanamitra, Indonesia

Kav La'Oved , Israel

Kilusang Mayo Uno Labor Center

Komite Independen Pemantau Pemilu (Independent Committee for Election Monitoring), Indonesia

Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), Cambodia

LLG Cultural Development Centre, Malaysia

Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)

Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net)


MAP Foundation, Thailand

Maquila Solidarity Network, Canada

May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights, NY-USA

Migrant CARE, Indonesia

Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)

Migrant Trade Union, Korea (MTU)

Migrante International

National Alliance of Women Human Rights Defenders, Nepal

Network of Action for Migrants in Malaysia (NAMM)

National League For Democracy (Liberated Area )[ NLD(LA)], Malaysia

Pakistan Rural Workers Social Welfare Organization (PRWSWO)

Peduli Buruh Migran, Indonesia

Penang Watch, Malaysia

People's Green Coalition

Pergerakan Indonesia

Perkumpulan PRAXIS, Indonesia

Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti, Selangor (EMPOWER)

Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)

Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor

Pinatud a Saleng ti Umili (PSU)

Pusat KOMAS, Malaysia

QuĂȘ Me: Action for Democracy in Vietnam

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)

Sedane Labour Resource Center/(Lembaga Informasi Perburuhan Sedane), Indonesia

Serikat Buruh Migran Indonesia (SBMI)

Shan Women Action Network (SWAN), Thailand

Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

Solidaritas Perempuan (Women's Solidarity for Human Rights), Indonesia

SOS(Save Ourselves), Malaysia

Suaram, Malaysia

Tenaganita, Malaysia

Thai Committee for Refugees Foundation (TCR)

The Filipino Women's Organization in Quebec, Canada

The GoodElectronics Network

Think Centre (Singapore)

UNIMIG (Union Migrant Indonesia)

United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-MIGRANTE-HK)

United Pangasinan in Hong Kong (UPHK)

Urban Community Mission (UCM Jakarta), Indonesia

Vietnam Committee on Human Rights

WARBE Development Foundation, Bangladesh

Women Forum for Women, Nepal

Women Legal BUREAU, Philippines

WOREC, Nepal

Workers Assistance Center, Inc (WAC), Philippines

Workers Hub For Change (WH4C)


Yayasan LINTAS NUSA (Batam Indonesia)

** For further information, please contact Charles Hector [+ 6 019 2371100, and/or ] or Pranom Somwong [+ 6 019 2371300 and