Malaysia’s Ministry of Human Resources strongly believes that forced labor is a violation of human rights and supports the principle that human suffering should not be tolerated or compromised. The ministry has made all out efforts to fight against all forms of forced labor, including human trafficking. A vicious circle capitalizes on poverty, low security, dependence on others and weaknesses, forcing people to work and trafficking human beings.
According to recent global estimates, about 25 million people worldwide work under threat or coercion, most of them migrant workers. In addition, large numbers of workers, particularly those affected by the Kovid-19 epidemic, have become more vulnerable to forced labor. Malaysia has taken various initiatives to address the problem of forced labor of migrant workers due to the labor-intensive sector and high dependence on industry as well as foreign workers.
In line with this, Malaysia has formally ratified Protocol 29 (P29) of the International Labor Organization. This is a major step by the state in eliminating the issue of forced labor.
Malaysia has become the 58th country in the world and the second ASEAN member to ratify Protocol 29 after Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan submitted the agreement to the ILO in Geneva, Switzerland last month.
The minister described it as a historic moment for Malaysia, a major victory for the country’s government as well as employers and businesses.
The ratification demonstrates the government’s commitment to fighting and eliminating all forms of forced labor. Malaysia is now ready to fight against forced labor at the international level.
Saravanan reiterated that the ratification would pave the way for the advancement of social justice and the promotion of decent work in the country.
The P29 ratification means that the country will take effective measures to prevent any kind of forced labor, protect the victims and ensure justice.
Incidents of forced labor occur due to the lack of proper measures to deal with the problems of forced labor.
To avoid this, employers must work hard and manage properly. Employers must report incidents of forced labor.
The ratification of Malaysia Protocol 29 will undoubtedly put Malaysia in a positive position in the world economy and employment market and demonstrate Malaysia’s real commitment to solving the problem of forced labor.
Following ratification, Malaysia is required to submit a report every three years on the steps taken to implement Protocol 29, which will be examined by ILO regulatory bodies.
In addition to P29 ratification, Malaysia has become a pathfinder country under SDG 8.7 – recognizing Malaysia’s role in accelerating efforts to eradicate forced labor, modern slavery and child labor around the world.