PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia is in the process of joining Alliance 8.7, as one of the 'pathfinder' countries that supports the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8.7 targets, said Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar (pic).
Alliance 8.7 refers to global cooperation aimed at expediting the elimination of forced labour, modern slavery by 2030 and child labour by 2025 and among the 'pathfinder' countries that have joined it are Argentina, Chile, Nepal, and Uganda.
In a statement on Sunday (June 25), Sivakumar said he had emphasised Malaysia's commitment to fighting the issue of forced labour at the 111th International Labour Conference (ILC) on June 12 in Geneva, including the amendment of the Employment Act 1955 (Amendment 2022) which has created new provisions through Section 90B regarding forced labour.
Section 90B, among other things, provides for the prohibition of employers from threatening, forcing or deceiving employees to do certain things and prevent employees from leaving the workplace which is defined as forced labour practices.
"Malaysia has also launched the National Action Plan on Forced Labour (2021-2025) (NAPFL) regarding forced labour in November 2021 and the Human Resources Ministry will never compromise on any complaint or information that leads to the issue of forced labour," he said.
According to him, the ministry will continue to intensify enforcement activities in combating the issue and carry out various inspection operations based on legal provisions in collaboration with the Department of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM).
"I also put emphasis on providing standard accommodation for workers whereby Malaysia has amended the Minimum Standards of Housing, Accommodation and Employee Facilities Act 1990 which aims to force employers to provide minimum standards of housing and facilities, thus improving the quality of life of workers.
"Malaysia has also extended social security protection for the occupational injury scheme to foreign workers with effect from Jan 1, 2019, in line with the core principles of the Good Work Agenda of the International Labour Organisation (ILO)," he said.
Sivakumar added that efforts to combat the issue of forced labour will continue to be enforced in line with the country's commitment that has ratified the ILO convention on forced labour namely 'C029 - Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (No.29)' on Nov 11, 1957 and ' Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930 (P029)' which was ratified on March 21, 2022.
The ministry will also continue to work with domestic stakeholders and international organisations to achieve the objectives of the National Action Plan on Anti-Trafficking in Persons 2021-2025 (NAPTIP 3.0) and NAPFL, he said. - Bernama