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Friday, December 3, 2021

Online system leading to trafficking of maids, govt told

 

Direct recruitment under Maid Online has allowed illicit agents to smuggle domestic workers in as tourists for a quick profit, says Migrant CARE’s Alex Ong.

PETALING JAYA: The foreign maid application system (Maid Online), started in 2018, has increased human trafficking activities and exploitation of domestic workers in Malaysia, say human rights activists.

North-South Initiative executive director Adrian Pereira said there are no thorough screening measures for those using the online system.

“It sidesteps the SOPs put in place by the human resources ministry,” he said.

Pereira pointed out that some governments like Indonesia did not recognise the online system as it did not comply with their laws.

Maid Online was established under Najib Razak’s administration and can be used by employers to apply for migrant workers directly, minimising bureaucracy.

Migrant CARE country representative Alex Ong said the direct recruitment process of the system had allowed illicit agents to bypass the procedural migration process in Malaysia.

“They (the illicit agents) smuggle maids in as tourists and perform unlicensed placements for a quick profit,” he told FMT.

He said more transparent policies and a more regulated online system were needed to reduce the exploitation and trafficking of domestic workers.

“The government should also take action against agencies that charge prospective employers high fees, driving these employers to resort to illegal measures,” he said.

Seputeh MP Teresa Kok also said in Parliament the online system had allowed human trafficking and exploitation of domestic workers to become rampant.

She said these maids were not given formal contracts and their rights and welfare were not assured. - FMT

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