Forced labour

Facilitator’s guide: Judges, prosecutors and legal aid practitioners’ training on forced labour

This guide aims at providing a training package for legal practitioners who may be exposed to forced labour in the course of their duties in Malaysia. This joint initiative by the Judicial and Legal Training Institute of Malaysia (ILKAP) and the ILO was based on the premise that well-trained criminal justice actors are key to an effective response to forced labour and play a crucial role in countering this crime.

The ILO Forced Labour Protocol to Convention No. 29 highlights the important role that judges and lawyers can play in providing protection to victims and preventing them from falling back into a situation of vulnerability and exploitation. Article 4 requires governments to ensure that all victims, regardless of their presence or legal status, have access to appropriate and effective remedies, such as compensation. The legal aid service providers, judges and prosecutors not only have the responsibility to punish offenders but must do so while respecting and protecting the human rights of, and addressing the needs of victims of forced labour. When victims’ rights are protected, there is a greater possibility that they will freely consider participating in the criminal justice proceedings, thus enhancing effective criminal investigations. Additionally, this material was developed to raise awareness on forced labour as a serious crime and a violation of human rights, and to enhance the capability and skills of criminal justice and legal practitioners to adequately detect forced labour cases and utilise relevant legislation in line with international standards that Malaysia subscribed to.

The training package comprises of eleven modules and is fully in line with the latest international, regional and national standards and policy developments in Malaysia. A multi-disciplinary approach was undertaken to form the basis of this training: from desk research, legal analysis, case studies and key stakeholder interviews of relevant agencies.