Call them domestic workers instead, says Tenaganita

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012

PUTRAJAYA: The Government has been urged to reclassify maids as domestic workers to crush the perception of a servant-master relationship.

Tenaganita said the Employment Act must be amended to pave the way for a legal framework to protect domestic workers and to prevent slavery.

It said it had received more than 100 complaints from maids this year who claimed they were not given a rest day and their passports were withheld.

More than half of them also claimed to have not been paid while some 35% were malnourished, Tenaganita executive director Irene Fernandez claimed.

She also alleged that investigations by Tenaganita found that almost 50% of maids working in Malaysia were below 21, the minimum legal age for domestic workers.

“We want Malaysia to immediately ratify and implement the ILO (International Labour Organisation) Convention No.189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers,” Fernandez said after handing over some 131,000 signatures in a petition to the Human Resources Ministry here yesterday.

Meanwhile, Suhakam received a petition urging it to investigate the violations of rights of workers under the 6P legalisation programme.

Suhakam commissioner Detta Samen said the Immigration Depart-ment, police, Home Ministry and Human Resources Ministry would be asked to address the complaints of migrant workers who were cheated by agents during the 6P registration process.

Fernandez had claimed that in the last eight months, many foreign workers were cheated by government-approved agents.

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