Canada Investigates Forced Labor Claims

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Canada investigates Labour claims. On Friday, the government said that Canada is looking into allegations. They regard forced labor in Malaysia’s palm oil and glove manufacturing industries. The country may ban products from the two sectors. As a matter of fact, there has been a lot of scrutiny in recent years. The latter related to reports of labor abusers in Malaysian firms. To be precise, they include some of the world’s biggest palm oil and rubber glove producers.

In fact, in 2020, the United States banned imports from three Malaysian firms on suspicion of forced labor. In addition, the US Customs and Border Protection stated there were many violations at these companies. They include excessive hours, abusive living and working conditions, debt bondage, intimidation, physical and sexual abuse, and the retention of identity documents. Last year, US Customs and Border Protection placed the three Malaysian corporations on the withhold release order (WRO) list. At US ports of entry, their goods are effectively detained. Top Glove is the world’s biggest latex glove maker that is one of the sanctioned companies. The list includes two of the world’s top palm oil producers, Sime Darby Plantation and FGV Holdings.

Forced Labor Claims

Top Glove declared in April that they resolved indicators of forced labor at its factories. Sime Darby has also stated the company has committed to combating forced labor. Moreover, according to the company, they now have robust policies to protect their workers’ rights. FGV noted that the company had recently taken specific steps to showcase its commitment to respecting human rights and upholding labor standards.

As noted, Canada investigates forced labor claims. Employment and Social Development Canada stated that the Labour Programme was “actively researching several forced labor allegations in different countries and sectors, including palm oil and glove manufacturing in Malaysia.” They sent this email to Reuters. However, they declined to provide more details on specific companies they are probing.

Samuelle Carbonneau, a spokesman for Canada’s employment and social development department’s (ESDC) labor program, stated, “the ESDC-labour programs risk analyses to establish the likelihood that a specific shipment contains goods produced through forced labor.“