Thursday, 9 February 2012

Interview with Malaysian Trade Union

Spotlight Interview With Pari Moses (Malaysia – MTUC)

"Working with placement agencies opens up new perspectives"

Brussels, 8 February 2012 (ITUC OnLine): The vast majority of domestic workers in Malaysia are migrants, mainly from Indonesia. The MTUC (1) is running a project aimed at preventing the abuses and exploitation they often face. Interview with project officer Pari Moses.

How is the MTUC coming to the aid of domestic workers?

The MTUC project for domestic workers is devoting a great deal of energy to helping domestic workers strengthen their capabilities in terms of advocacy, awareness raising, securing representation before the authorities, and establishing mechanisms to coordinate with embassies and civil society organisations. We also inform domestic workers about their rights. In October 2010, for example, we held a workshop bringing together 45 Indonesian domestic workers who had been given a day off during a Muslim festival. We used role play and dialogues to educate them about their rights, about the do's and don'ts in Malaysia, and how to handle problems they may have with an employer, etc. Two months later, we brought together another 35 Indonesian domestic workers, but this time the meeting was held on the premises of a placement agency and was also attended by their employers, the labour attaché from the Indonesian embassy and five other embassy officials. There were many exchanges between the different groups. The domestic workers were really eager to meet the labour attaché from their embassy and asked him countless questions; he was also happy to be able to talk to them and to their employers. We want to expand on this type of education and training in the future.

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