Monday, November 25, 2013

SINGAPORE:::Singaporeans have 'duty to be kind to foreign workers'

Singapore has laws to protect foreign workers’ rights but citizens also have a responsibility to be kind and humane towards them, said Professor Chan Heng Chee.

Most people here already have a sense of decency, she said in opening remarks at a migrant workers’ group event, and would help strangers in need and not begrudge the Government helping the poor and elderly.
This attribute should be cultivated and extended to how mi­­grant workers are treated, according to Prof Chan, Singapore’s Re­­presentative to the Asean Inter­governmental Commission on Hu­­man Rights.
“It should not be the law that forces us to do so. We should treat them well, feed them adequately, allow rest time, and abuse of workers should be ruled out,” she said at an event organised by the Humani-tarian Organisation for Migration Economics, or Home.
The event was held to train lawyers and volunteers from non-governmental organisations in advocating for migrants’ rights.
Prof Chan said that Singaporeans by and large treat their maids well, and it was a small group of errant employers who were the problem.
She listed two other parties as having a role to play in ensuring migrant workers’ rights – the hostcountry and the “sending” country.
Host governments need to pass laws and regulations to protect the welfare of migrant workers, said Prof Chan, who is also an ambassador-at-large. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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