Forced labour

Launch of guide “Addressing, preventing and eliminating forced labour in the rubber industry in Malaysia: A practical guide for Malaysian employers in the rubber industry”

By Panudda Boonpala, Deputy Regional Director, ILO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific at the Launching Ceremony: A Practical Guide on Forced Labour for Malaysian Rubber Industry on 8 August 2022, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Statement | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 08 August 2022
  • YB Datuk Hajah Zuraida Kamaruddin, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities,
  • YB Datuk Willie Anak Mongin and YB Dato’ Sri Dr Wee Jeck Seng, Deputy Ministers of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities,
  • YB Dr Dorayah Alwi, Chairman of the Malaysian Rubber Council,
  • Mr Nor Hizwan Ahmad, Chief Executive Officer of the Malaysian Rubber Council,
  • Officials from the Ministry of Human Resources,
  • Representatives of  Malaysian Employers Federation and Malaysian Trade Union Congress, the Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturer’s Association and Malaysian Rubber Products Manufacturers’ Associations
  • Excellencies and officers from embassies and high commissions,
  • Distinguished participants, honourable guests, dear colleagues
On behalf of the International Labour Organization, I am pleased to welcome all of you to the launch of “Addressing, preventing and eliminating forced labour in the rubber industry in Malaysia: A practical guide for Malaysian employers”. It is with regret that I cannot be with you in person today.

At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to honourable Ministers for your presence today. I would like to thank the ILO’ tri partite constituents and sectoral stakeholders, especially the Ministry of Human Resources, Department of Labour, Malaysian Rubber Council, Malaysian Rubber Gloves Manufacturers’ Association, and industry members for your support and collaboration.

I also convey our sincere thanks to the European Commission for its valuable support to ILO decent work agenda and the rubber sector programme in Malaysia.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I commend Malaysia for its strong commitment to eliminate forced labour in all its forms.

Last November, Malaysia took an important step by launching a National Action Plan on Forced Labour for 2021-25. Developed by the Ministry of Human Resources with support from the ILO, the Action Plan focuses on awareness, enforcement, labour migration as well as access to remedy and support services.

Furthermore, in March 2022, the Government of Malaysia ratified the ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, 1930, thereby becoming the 58th country in the world, and the second ASEAN Member State to do so. The Protocol requires Member States take effective action to prevent forced labour, protect victims and give them access to justice. The most important next step is the implementation!

We thank the Malaysian Rubber Council for their initiative and strong partnership to adapt the MEF-ILO Guide on “Business responsibility on preventing and addressing forced labour in Malaysia” for the rubber industry.

This guide aims at providing practical resources, information, and guidance to employers on how to identify risks of forced labour in company recruitment, employment and sourcing practices. It will help effectively identify, manage and mitigate these risks in the rubber industry. I am happy to see many industry representatives today and I hope this Guide will be helpful in your work.

In our efforts to return to greater economic and productivity activity, it is important to look for solutions that will help us build a better future of work. One which is based on decent working conditions for all workers. By investing in decent work and an enabling environment for sustainable enterprises, Malaysia has a unique opportunity to create more and better jobs, increase productivity and skills, and support growth across the rubber glove supply chain. This will  ultimately increase your competitiveness in the market.

ILO will continue supporting you in your efforts to promote decent work in this and other sectors of the economy.

I thank you for your attention!