MoU on Indonesian domestic workers to be signed in April

by AZREEN HANI / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Indonesian domestic workers with Indonesia is expected to be signed early next month, said Human Resources Minister Datuk M Saravanan (picture).

The signing ceremony was initially scheduled to be held in Jakarta, Indonesia, this Friday.

He said Indonesian President Joko Widodo wished to witness the signing ceremony, so it was postponed to April 1 to allow Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob to attend.

“He (Ismail Sabri) has another event (this week) which is Umno General Assembly. So, it (the MoU signing ceremony) is postponed to April 1 when leaders from both countries can witness the MoU between Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta,” Bernama reported him as saying in a media conference at Parliament Building yesterday.

In a separate statement, Saravanan said he will make a working visit to Geneva, Switzerland, to deposit the ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention (Protocol 29).

This protocol is a supplementary protocol to the Forced Labour Convention (Convention 29) which was ratified by Malaysia in 1957.

“The ratification of Protocol 29 is a testament of the government’s commitment to address forced labour issue in all sectors of work, particularly in the rubber glove manufacturing sector and palm oil plantation sector which have been associated with forced labour practices as of late,” he said.

The Protocol 29 outlines the country’s obligation to take effective measures in the aspect of legislation, policy and programmes to address and eradicate forced labour.

According to the minister, the ratification of this protocol will also serve as a guidance to the government to prevent and eliminate forced labour practices in line with the international labour standards.

“Malaysia will also officially join the United Nations (UN) Alliance 8.7 as a Pathfinder Country which consists of countries that have officially state their commitment to develop and put into practice the legislation, policy and action plan to eradicate forced labour and child labour,” he added.

The participation as Pathfinder Country is part of the national effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal Target and to become a benchmark in the efforts to eradicate forced labour, child labour and trafficking in persons.

The ratification of ILO Protocol 29 and participation in the Alliance 8.7 will also have a positive impact in Malaysia’s tier ranking in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, as well as other human rights platforms.

Malaysia also stands to acquire technical assistance from UN and ILO in awareness raising, capacity building and access to good practices from other Pathfinder Countries.