KUALA LUMPUR: Glove makers have teamed up with the plantation industry, the government, and a UK government and a university to undertake a project to eradicate forced labour issues.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) joined hands with The University of Nottingham Malaysia to support the project.
The project “Enhancement of manufacturing and oil-palm third party audits compliance and due diligence with certification”, was officiated by the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Charles Hay.
Margma said the project is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in the UK. It started on Aug 30 and will continue to January 2022.
The project is supported by Margma, Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants (MAPO), Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC), the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and the Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia.
Margma president Dr Supramaniam Shanmugam said the industry was committed to the project in the hope of eradicating forced labour issues which are tainting the image of the industry.
“The rubber glove industry is dedicated to raise the bars of meeting social compliance and support the project objectives of providing training to internal industry and third-party auditors in understanding the dynamics of Trafficking In Person (TIP) and labour compliances related to International Labour Organisation (ILO),” he said.
Dr Supramaniam said the rubber glove industry which exports to over 190 countries globally, currently undergo about four levels of audits including internal audits, customer-driven audits, independent third-party audits and government audits by MoHR.
We also have an industry Code of Conduct and all its members have agreed to adopt the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA).
“The ESG unit within Margma has been counselling and educating members, via onsite visits and webinars, on the required compliances.
“Margma is calling out to have a common yardstick and understanding on Social Compliances, amongst ILO, employees, employers, Malaysian Government and Source countries,” he said.