Tuesday, April 7, 2015

SINGAPORE:::Take action before more die in dorm fires

In both cases, old Geylang walk-up apartments were turned into overcrowded foreign worker dormitories, becoming death traps when they caught fire.
How many foreign workers have to die before something is done? That the workers had died from a "Third World" cause, like a fire, in "First World" Singapore ought to prick the conscience of people here, especially that of the parties involved in housing foreign workers. These parties are, first, landlords who allow their premises to be turned into cramped quarters.
In last week's fire, the landlords, a Singaporean couple who gave their names only as Mr and Mrs Bala, told reporters that their tenancy agreement had limited the number of tenants to "eight or 10", but admitted that they did not carry out checks. Such a mentality cannot absolve landlords of their responsibilities.

MALAYSIA::No March salaries yet for terminated ABN staff / Staf ABN belum terima gaji bulan Mac

Employees of Asia Broadcasting Network's (ABN) news arm terminated from their posts recently, have not yet received their March salaries.

Tycoon KK Eswaran (below), who reportedly has close ties with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's family, owns 70 percent of ABN through holding company ABN Media Group.

One of the 60 recently sacked workers told Malaysiakini that they may only be getting their March wages next week.

"Our March salaries hasn't been credited. They told us it will only be banked in on the 15," he said on condition of anonymity.

THAILAND:::Migrant workers to receive better welfare in Thailand

-The Ministry of Labor is expected to provide better care for migrant workers in Thailand by enforcing stricter laws against dodgy employers and job agencies.
Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Labor, Nakhon Silapa-archa said at a meeting arranged in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and the International Labor Organization (ILO), that the Thai government has placed great emphasis on the welfare of migrant workers.

The 2014 ILO protocol: a new standard, but will states make it real?

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Anti-trafficking measures to date have been unsuccessful as they do not address structural labour governance failures. A new global treaty was adopted last summer that aims to do exactly that.
Governments began to react to the increased power of organised crime and the growth of illegal trafficking, including in human beings, during the 1990s. This drive culminated in 2000 with the passage of the Palermo Convention to combat organised crime and its Protocol to combat human trafficking. Since then, the fight against human trafficking and modern slavery has received political attention and millions have been poured into different anti-trafficking initiatives around the world. National penal laws have been adopted andnational referral mechanisms have been set up. Judges, special police units and border guards were trained to identify victims, while international cooperation and coordination improved through new intergovernmental platforms such as Frontex and Eurojust in Europe. Nevertheless, there is no indication that the level of ‘modern-day slaves’ in the world has decreased due to these developments. On the contrary, recent estimates suggest that the number has been rising. One can only conclude that, by and large, government responses have been ineffective.