Penang, Malaysia

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Documents and Statements

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Towards a Comprehensive Policy on Labour Migration for Malaysia

This report is the work of the Migrant Workers Right to Redress Coalition, of which we are a member.


Its Introduction provides the context of why a holistic approach is necessary and what steps are available. The seven sections then provide recommendations for policy actions on a range of crucial issues relating to the recruitment and employment of migrant workers and refugees.


All of these recommendations came out of a series of roundtables with a wide range of stakeholders, including government.


This report has been used to lobby the new federal government, not least via the on-going government-appointed Committee on the Management of Foreign Workers (see next document).


It has recently been updated to reflect any new developments and to include reference to the employment of foreign spouses; the main approaches and recommendations still remain the same.

Human Trafficking in Malaysia: Proposals for Action

The Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign has been consistently engaged in lobbying government agencies and others responsible for combatting human trafficking. We have consistently highlighted key areas for action, as summarised in the document here. Please download and lend your voice to the advocacy goals.

A Framework for Action relating to Refugees

Picture: freeforall blog

The Penang Stop Human Trafficking Campaign has been working very closely with refugee communities in Penang, for many years. Many of our members are refugees and the community-building and empowerment is a cornerstone of our work.


Despite various promises, refugees continue to have no rights at all in Malaysia: there is no legal or administrative framework which gives refugee women, men and children any status.


They, therefore, remain unprotected; their employment is as ‘undocumented workers’, with all the attendant vulnerabilities that bring; children have no access to mainstream education. human traffickers and modern-day slavers flourish in these situations. On-going lobby to change this has brought many groups together recently, and let’s hope that something changes quickly and for the better.

MWR2R Coalition Submission to the government-appointed Committee on the Management of Foreign Workers, November 2018

In 2018, the government established an Indpendent Committee on the Management of Foreign Workers, to collect evidence relating to the situations faced by different migrant workers  (including refugees) and to make recommendations for appropriatre poilicy responses.


The Committee toured the country holding a series of open meetings and hearing submissions. Members of the Migrant Workers Right to Redress Coalition made a series of recommendations, based on the Report above (Towards a Comprehenvie Policy on Labour Migration for Malaysia), supplemented by individual recommendations.


The Committee then brought together all the different evidence into a report which it submitted to Cabiner in early 2019. Sadly this weas not made public and we still await any new policy initiative arising freom this.


We haven't quite given up hope but.......we look forward to significant and major changes being made as soon as possible.

Questions for the Bukit Kukus Enquiry, November 2018

Tragedies such as recently occurred at Bukit Kukus in Penang remind us of how little concern is being shown by developers, contractors, federal, state and local government, and other parties, in terms of ensuring people and environment are safe.


These are man-made ‘disasters’ in which workers die.

The statement attached here sums up some of the concerns.


We do hope that we won’t have to issue similar statements in the future, but given the lack of concern and response from the authorities, we are sadly pretty sure this will not be the last.

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