Malaysia becoming death camp for migrant workers

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The maltreatment of migrants has led to many deaths and brought disgrace to the country besides obstructing long-term economic progress.

By Joshua Woo Sze Zeng in Free Malaysia Today

The Nepalese embassy’s recent report of 461 deaths of its workers in 2015 is a 32% increase from the 348 deaths in 2014. That is an average of nine deaths per week. At this rate, Malaysia is becoming a death camp for migrant workers.

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in its “Review of Labour Migration Policy in Malaysia” has attributed the cause of the high fatality among migrants to “poor working conditions, high-levels of occupational stress and lack of adequate medical care.”

This is all the result of the Federal Government’s ineffective regulation of the welfare of foreign workers and its dubious migrant policy. Continue reading

Human trafficking – an analysis of issues

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Survivors of human trafficking are entitled to assistance, protection and access to justice regardless of their residence status or whether perpetrators are identified and prosecuted.

By James Nayagam in Free Malaysia Today

The US State Department has just released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report placing Malaysia on the Tier 2 Watch List. This is the second consecutive year Malaysia is being placed on this tier. The Tier 2 Watch List concerns countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. Continue reading

Undocumented Bangladeshi migrant workers face tough time in Malaysia

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To avoid arrests, illegal/ undocumented workers in Malaysia are now living in forests and abandoned warehouses. Since they don’t have a visa or employment papers, they are in conflict with the police. On one hand, helpless Bangladeshi migrant workers are not getting jobs; on the other hand they cannot pay back the money they have invested to come here.

(As broadcast on Ekattor TV, Bangladesh.)

Migration, media and remittance

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It is estimated that one out of every seven people on earth, more than one billion individuals are directly impacted by remittances

Migration, media and remittance are interlinked. If safe migration is ensured, and if we get the total remittances through formal way/ proper channel, the whole scenario of migration will be positively changed, and our national economy will be more strengthen. Definitely we will be gainer in many ways. To address these issues, we must involve print, electronic and social media as key stakeholders among others. National and international campaign to make awareness on safe migration, to prevent human trafficking and people-smuggling trade, life-threatening journey by boat to unknown destinations, those challenging issues require accommodation in national and international media broadly. Bangladeshi workers are very hard-working, and they have been working in different sectors of 161 countries across the globe. But many workers are facing difficulties too due to undocumented, cheated by the brokers, people-smuggling syndicate, trafficked, tortured in detention and jail, getting irregular and low-payment from the employer and few others to mention. So the government and other stakeholders should work from now collectively to ensure all the Bangladeshi workers are under the shadow of the protective umbrella of safe migration. Continue reading

Illegal workers face torture

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These migrant workers came to Malaysia via illegal sea routes and are passing their days in fear. They told Ekattor TV how their fellow travelers were submitted to brutal physical torture and some died of lack of food. Despite being able to earn a few Ringgit every month, they are destined to be unhappy.

(As broadcast on Ekattor TV, Bangladesh.)

राहतमा विभेद (Nepali)

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वैदेशिक रोजगार विभागबाट श्रम स्वीकृत लिएर इसुवा साफी बिदा हुन धनुषाको नवाखोर पर्साई–२ स्थित घर पुग्छन् । कतार जान लागेका उनले जहाजको टिकट पनि लिइसकेका हुन्छन् ।

३२ वर्षीय साफी घरमा भेटघाट गरेर काठमाडौं फर्किन ‘नाइट बस’ को टिकट पनि किन्छन् । राजधानी नफर्किंदै अचानक उनलाई घरमै ज्वरोले च्याप्छ । परिवारले उपचारका लागि छिमेकी दरभंगा पटना दौडाउँछन् तर अस्पताल नपुग्दै उनको निधन हुन्छ । परिवारकै सपना भताभुंग हुन्छ ।

श्रम स्वीकृति लिनुपूर्व उनले वैदेशिक रोजगार ऐन ०६४ अनुसार बिमा र कल्याणकारी कोषमा रकम तिरिसकेका थिए । त्यो गराउनुको अर्थ कामदारलाई आपद–विपद्, मृत्यु, अंगभंग, बिरामी हुँदा स्वयं कामदार वा परिवारलाई आर्थिक सहयोग दिनु हो, त्यही कोषबाट दिँदा सरकारले थप आर्थिक भार पनि बेहोर्नु पर्दैन । Continue reading

For Assam worker, fear is the key in Kerala

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Kerala, as well as whole of India, was stunned after the brutal rape and murder of Dalit Law student Jisha who with her aged, sick mother had been living in a dilapidated hut on the outskirts of Perumbavoor town in Ernakulam district of Kerala. Her rape and murder resembled that of Delhi’s Nirbhaya. The ruling UDF front of that time was trounced in last assembly elections due to the protest wave which swept across the state. Finally, the accused Ameerul Islam, hailing from Nagaon district of Assam, was arrested from Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu. Investigation is still going on in full swing. Kerala police team reached Assam and gathered clues about the criminal antecedents of the accused. Many migrated labourers, especially from Assam, were questioned by the police using third degree. Continue reading

Illegal, ill-treated

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Nepali workers are unlawfully forced to become ‘illegal’ by unscrupulous employers, recruiters and the government.

When Malaysia launched a massive crackdown on illegal migrant workers in 2014, thousands of Nepalis without passports here were left with only two options: return home or get arrested.

To return home without passports, Nepali workers would require travel documents. But the Nepali embassy in Kuala Lumpur was under-staffed, and issuing travel documents for so many of them at such short notice was not possible. Continue reading

MOU on Employment Fund for Migrant Workers signed (Nepali)

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वैदेशिक रोजगारमा रहेका कामदारलाई कर्मचारी सञ्चय कोषमा आबद्ध गर्न सञ्चय कोष र गैरआवासीय नेपाली संघ (एनआरएनए) बीच सझदारी पत्र (एमओयू) मा हस्ताक्षर भएको छ । हाल विचाराधीन अवस्थामा रहेको ‘कर्मचारी सञ्जय कोष ऐनलाई संशोधन गर्न बनेको विधेयक’ पारित भएपछि वैदेशिक रोजगारमा कार्यरत कामदार कोषमा समेटिने छन् ।

सञ्चय कोषको मुख्यालय पुल्चोकमा आयोजित कार्यक्रममा कोषका प्रशासक कृष्णप्रसाद आचार्य र एनआरएन अध्यक्ष शेष घलेले ७ बुँदे एमओयूमा हस्ताक्षर गरे । एमओयूमा सञ्चय कोष ऐन संशोधन भएपछि प्रवासी नेपाली कामदारलाई कोषबाट सामाजिक सुरक्षा प्रदान गर्ने प्रक्रियाका लागि कोष र एनआरएनबाट संयुक्त अध्ययन गर्ने भनिएको छ । करिब डेढ वर्षअघि दर्ता भएको विधेयक संसद्को अर्थ समितिद्वारा गठित उपसमितिले पारित गरी अर्थ समितिमा छलफलका लागि पेस गरेको छ । Continue reading