Targeted action through the amfori Audit Quality Programme
As part of its audit quality programme, amfori has been working with auditing companies to improve the accuracy of audit reports conducted in Malaysia.
In this context, amfori has been following and taking action regarding a number of alleged human rights violations in the rubber glove industry in Malaysia over the course of 2020.
These activities follow a record of engagement in Malaysia since 2018, with the amfori BSCI system but also through dialogue and advocacy with governments, industry partners and civil society actors.
The result of our recent findings in the Audit Quality Programme led to comprehensive collaboration with auditing companies, and translated into a number of revisions in audit reports in Malaysia.
amfori will keep collaborating with the auditing companies by providing them time to investigate their audit reports in Malaysia and working together to improve reporting quality. Furthermore, amfori will also work on updating the auditing guidelines in Malaysia (first published in 2019) for its members.
Engaging through amfori Advocacy
Alongside engagement with auditing companies, amfori strongly values its close dialogue with a range of stakeholders including human rights defenders as a means of advancing social compliance.
Our activities in recent months have included meeting with the Malaysian Human Rights Commissioners to discuss improvements in eliminating forced labour, especially those related to migrant workers in multiple industries.
Similarly, we have participated in multi-stakeholder fora on Business and Human Rights including the Malaysian Government and United Nations Development Programme’s representatives and the organisation of a round table with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to discuss recruitment fee issues.
Amidst these allegations, it is clear that challenges remain. Nevertheless, amfori notes the efforts of some of the biggest rubber glove providers in Malaysia, who have publicly committed to reimburse the recruitment fees of their migrant workers.
To conclude, amfori recognises the complexity of forced labour issues. Multiple partnerships are required to improve conditions. It is necessary to adopt a multi-stakeholder approach with civil society and governments as not just factories can detect these violations.
In this same vein, amfori would welcome collaborations with all relevant stakeholders to help guide companies in Malaysia to implement more sustainable working practices.
Recommended Reading – amfori’s previous engagement in the region
Mitigating Workers’ Rights Abuses in Malaysia – November 2019