WASHINGTON DC: The government of Malaysia and the United States of America (USA) will continue to build strategic cooperations in eradicating forced labour.
Minister of Human Resources, Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said, for the cooperation, the Department of Customs and United States Border Protection (US CBP) has agreed to cooperate via the formation of Working Committee that will meet in every three months.
“This committee will focus on the exchange of information relating to forced labour including framing policies that will support the national initiative towards eradicating forced labour,” Saravanan said in a statement.
The Minister added, the US CBP that is scheduled to have a working visit to Malaysia towards the end of May has agreed to have a joint workshop with the industry players in Malaysia.
Saravanan said, the workshop will provide information on the issue related to force labour element that needs to be avoided by the industry players so that their products will not be sanctioned from entering the US markets.
He added, from the cooperation aspects with the US Department of Labour (DOL) the department agrees to share the expertise in the technology transfer, competency building and apprentice programmes.
“US DOL has also proposed that Malaysia should expose workers to the importance of unions. This is in line with amendment of the Workers’ Union Act 1959 that will be tabled in the Parliament, July 2022.
“This working visit has also given the opportunity for a bilateral cooperation in eradicating forced labour symptoms apart from being a platform to the United States to understand the challenges that Malaysia encounters in addressing the forced labour and child labour issues,” Saravanan said.
Saravanan added, in his working visit to Washington DC, USA, he has met with Ann Marie Highsmith, Assistant Executive of Trade Commission, Department of Customs and US Border Protection (US CBP) and Thea Lee, Deputy Secretary International Labour Affairs Bureau (ILAB), Department of Labour United States (US DOL).
“In the two meetings I have shared the Ministry of Human Resources in addressing almost the whole forced labour indicators that have been listed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) such as the detention of self documents, extreme overtime work and salary withholding,” he said.
The Minister said, however the debts slavery indicator has become one of the challenges in which majority of the cases related to this indicator happened in the sources’ country but has given a negative implication to the receiver nation such as Malaysia. –Malaysia World News