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Treat migrant workers humanely, prevent modern slavery

Malay Mail, Malaysia, 29 December 2020 - Every human being should be treated equally and fairly. No one should be denied of their basic rights regardless of their status and this includes migrant workers.

Who is a migrant worker? A migrant worker is a person who either migrates within their home country or outside their country it in order to pursue for work. Migrant workers usually do not have the intention to stay permanently in the country or region in which they come to work.

Migrant workers who work outside of their home country are also called as foreign workers. They may also be called expatriates or guest workers.

Whatever name we address migrant workers, it is very sad to hear stories where migrant workers being subjected to unfair treatments from their own employers and negative perceptions from the society.

Why should migrant workers be treated and be seen in such hostile way? There should not be any reasons for us to treat migrant workers differently from us. Migrant workers are also human being same like us. Migrant workers also have family which they want to take care and support back home.

Why are they willing to travel far away from their home country to find jobs? People will not spend much money, time and energy as well as enduring difficulties going abroad to find work unless they are desperate and don’t have any choice. This is something we need to understand clearly.

Work is a central part of a person’s life that ensures the sustenance for one’s self and also one’s dependants. It is also an essential component of one’s sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being.

Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 states that:

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work;
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection; and
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.



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