Abused and Alone: Legal Redress for Migrant Domestic Workers in Malaysia

Jennifer Whelan, Rohaida Nordin, Ma Khaltum Ishak, Nursyuhada Matwi, Siti Nurimani Zahari, Nicole Mekler, Amritha Thiyagarajan

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15742/ilrev.v6n1.171

Abstract


Since independence, Malaysia’s rapid economic development has relied on Malaysian workers moving from rural-to-rural and rural-to-urban areas as well as on migrant workers, especially from ASEAN countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand and also from South Asia. The sustained high economic growth rates in Malaysia over approximately three decades caused the increase in migrant workers, who were to meet the rising demand in certain sectors of the Malaysian labour market. The objective of the article is to identify potential opportunities for policy and legislative reform in relation to Malaysia’s implementation of its obligations as a Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) receiving country specifically in relation to the barriers to MDW bringing claims where their rights have been breached. This article has identifies the relevant policy, legislative and support mechanism (NGO and government) landscape in Malaysia regarding the realisation of the rights of migrant domestic workers in Malaysia to bring claims where their rights have been breached (particularly the differences between Malaysia’s treatment of domestic workers as compared to other migrant workers); best practice examples of the relevant policy, legislative and support mechanism (NGO and government) landscapes in at least 2 ‘best practice’ MDW receiving countries regarding the realisation of the rights of MDW to bring claims where their rights have been breached; and potential opportunities for policy, legislative and support mechanism reform in Malaysia to further enhance the realisation of the rights of MDW in Malaysia specifically in relation to redress mechanisms for breaches of the rights of MDW.

Keywords


Migrant Domestic Worker; breach of rights; policy and legislative; redresses mechanism

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ISSN: 2356-2129