|Lawyers: There are laws to protect foreign workers|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 09:02am|
©Malay Mail (Used by permission)
by T.K. Letchumy Tamboo
PETALING JAYA: There are sufficient laws governing the safety of migrant workers in the country.
Lawyer Salim Bashir said laws such as the Domestic Protection Act and the Employment Act can be used to charge an employer who has abused his worker.
“Under the Penal Code there are provisions to charge an employer if he abuses his maid. For example, Section 323 of the Penal Act cites imprisonment for more than one year or a fine of RM2,000 or both as punishment for voluntarily causing hurt.
“Section 324 of the same Act cites imprisonment for more than three years or a fine or whipping as punishment for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons,” he said.
Salim said even people who bring in maids illegally can be taken to court under the Human Trafficking Act.
Lawyer Art Harun also said there were general laws to safeguard foreign workers such as the Penal Code.
“I don’t know why we need a specific legal framework to protect migrant workers.
“Even if we have such an Act, it would be impractical because it is difficult to enforce. How would we know which migrant worker’s safety is threatened? Unless of course the victims come forward,” he said.
Another lawyer Datuk Jahabardeen Mohamed Yunoos said there were three types of abuses, emotional, physical and financial.
“There is no law in the world to accord protection for emotional abuse as emotional strength cannot be measured.
“Although there is no specific law for foreign workers, it does not mean they aren’t protected. Even foreigners who come here are protected under the law, what more an employed migrant worker.”
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