A migrant worker is someone working outside of their home country.
A majority of them leave their homes at a hefty price. They pay large sums of money to travel abroad, hoping to improve their economic situation back home. In Malaysia, there is an estimate of 7 million migrant workers, most of whom come from more than 12 countries in Asia. Most migrants here are working in the lowest paid and most dangerous jobs, such as construction, domestic work and manufacturing.
They are often taken advantage of by agents, employers and officials. Women workers in particular are more vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking.
A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because persecution, war or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of prosecution because of reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion of membership of a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so because of the reasonable possibility of harm.
The largest group of refugees in Malaysia come from Myanmar. Almost 20% of them are children i.e. under 18 years of age.
Because Malaysia is not a signatory of the UN Refugee Convention, refugees continued to be denied access to proper work and protection services.
The terms refugees and asylum seekers are often confused.
An asylum seeker is someone who flee their own country to seek sanctuary in another country, and says that he or she is a refugee. They would apply for asylum. Asylum is the right to be recognised as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance.
Asylum seekers are individuals whose claims have yet to be definitively evaluated. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded.
A trafficked person is someone who has been recruited, moved from one place to another without an informed or willful consent of the person. The person may be exploited for the purpose of labour, services commercial sex. Traffickers would use violence, threats, deception, debt bondage, and other manipulative tactics to force victims against their will.
Victims of trafficking are in the position of vulnerability and have little to no control over their lives. They are usually stripped off their freedom – freedom of movement, to communicate, to gain any access and is often times conditioned.
Malaysia is a destination, transit and source country for human trafficking.
A domestic worker is a person who works in one or many households. Domestic workers in Malaysia are commonly female migrant workers who come from Philippines, Indonesia, India.
One distinct characteristic of domestic work is that the home is also the workplace. Because of that, the boundaries between what’s professional and personal becomes less distinguishable. There is no clear definition of work hours, of objective standards, and what happens in the home is unknown to others. This leaves these women workers to be especially vulnerable.
Many of the workers suffer from physical abuse, mental abuse, as well as victims of safety hazards. Some victims of trafficking are children
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