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New laws in Singapore appear to give employers ‘almost unfettered power’ over migrant workers’ movements, say NGOs

Eco-Business, Singapore, 2 July 2020 - Two major migrant welfare groups in Singapore have expressed deep concern over new laws that require most lower-income foreign workers to obtain their employers’ consent in order to leave their dormitories.

The new regulations appear to give many employers “almost unfettered power over workers’ movement”, and leave workers with no immediate recourse under the law, said the two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), in a joint statement last week.

The rules allow workers to leave a dormitory to seek help in an emergency, but employers’ view of “emergency help” may be significantly narrower than the workers’ actual needs, the NGOs said.

Even if the workers call the police for help, the new laws lack “clear objective criteria for first responders to evaluate and override employers’ views”, they noted.

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Source: https://www.eco-business.com/news/new-laws-in-singapore-appear-to-give-employers-almost-unfettered-power-over-migrant-workers-movements-say-ngos/

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