This campaign was launched by the Domestic Worker’s Campaign Coalition Malaysia earlier today, calling for the recognition of domestic work.

There are over 300,00 domestic workers in Malaysia (often referred inappropriately as “maids”), who have contributed significantly in Malaysian households. Yet, very little recognition is given for their contribution.

Check out the campaign’s Facebook page at:
http://facebook.com/dwcampaign

Domestic Worker’s Campaign Coalition Malaysia: TenaganitaCAMSA InternationalWomen’s Aid OrganisationJaringan Utara Migran dan Pelarian (JUMP), Migrant Ministry, Pusat Kebajikan Good ShepherdAOHDProject Liber8Caram Asia

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About the campaign:

Campaign to recognise the work, dignity, lives & rights of domestic workers in Malaysian laws. Stand for human rights, Stop Slavery.

Over 300, 000 domestic workers live and work in Malaysian homes, unrecognised as workers, deemed to be servants under Malaysian law. Many remain trapped in states of bonded labour & slavery, with little access to justice or redress.

In the past 8-10 years, Tenaganita has assisted over 2000 domestic workers seek justice. Many more remain trapped, abused, isolated.

Of the cases handled by Tenaganita, 90% of domestic workers work more than 12 hours a day with a majority between 14-16 hours a day, some sleeping only for less than 4 hours a day. 76% had not received their wages for more than 6 months, many after working between 2-5 years. All of them had their passports held by their employers and thus many did not have their work permits renewed. Almost all were denied a single-day of rest.

Isolated in Malaysian homes, many suffer various forms of physical, sexual and mental abuse, are malnurished & starved, denied access to communicate with the world outside their employer’s homes.

In 2008, Tenaganita launched the campaign to uphold the rights of domestic workers. Since then, two countries – Indonesia & Cambodia- have frozen the recruitment of their citizens as domestic workers to Malaysia. The process for recruitment and employment of domestic workers remains exploitative, and the legislative framework remains unchanged – domestic workers are still deemed to be servants, denied a day-off leave, trapped without their passports and often without a way out.

The Coalition of Malaysian Human Rights NGOs therefore call on people of conscience to come together in solidarity to demand that the Malaysian government recognise the meaningful work done by domestic workers.

We call for decent wages & working conditions, for their dignity to be upheld and their lives protected.

We call for Malaysia to stop the enslavement of women in Malaysian homes.