Suhakam: Cadangan kerajaan benarkan pelarian Rohingya cari pekerjaan

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Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suruhanjaya) memuji cadangan kerajaan yang diumumkan di Parlimen untuk membenarkan pelarian Rohingya untuk mencari pekerjaan melalui projek perintis, yang akan memfokuskan kepada sektor-sektor pasaran tertentu.

Suruhanjaya menyambut baik keputusan sama untuk mengeluarkan permit kerja kepada pelarian pada bulan Julai 2013.

Walau bagaimanapun, perkara ini tidak menjadi kenyataan. Suruhanjaya menegaskan bahawa walaupun Malaysia masih belum meratifkasi Konvensyen 1951 Berkaitan dengan Status Pelarian, ia bertanggungjawab untuk menghormati undangundang antarabangsa. Tambahan pula, akses kepada pekerjaan yang selamat dan sah adalah hak asas manusia, yang jelas termaktub dalam undang-undang antarabangsa, dan terpakai kepada semua orang termasuk pelarian dan pemohon suaka.

Namun begitu, Suruhanjaya masih bimbang kerana walaupun terdapat ribuan pelarian dan pemohon suaka yang memohon pendaftaran dengan UNHCR di Malaysia, ketiadaan integrasi pasaran buruh untuk golongan ini akan memaksa mereka mencari pekerjaan dalam keadaan yang tidak terkawal, secara haram atau berbahaya, yang seterusnya mungkin mendedahkan mereka kepada risiko lain termasuk eksploitasi seksual atau penyeludupan manusia.

Walaupun Suruhanjaya akur bahawa masih terdapat banyak halangan yang boleh mengekang pelarian dan pemohon suaka daripada menikmati sepenuhnya hak mereka untuk bekerja, seperti kemahiran bahasa yang tidak mencukupi, kekurangan pengetahuan tentang pasaran kerja tempatan dan kekurangan latihan dan pengalaman kerja, ia menekankan bahawa pelarian/pemohon suaka yang dibenarkan untuk melibatkan diri dalam pekerjaan yang selamat dan sah akan dapat memenuhi keperluan asas hidup mereka dan menyumbang kepada keperluan keluarga mereka, di samping berupaya untuk menyara diri sendiri.

Suruhanjaya juga berpandangan bahawa kejayaan pelarian dan pemohon suaka memperolehi pekerjaan boleh memberi manfaat kepada semua rakyat Malaysia kerana ini akan mengurangkan tanggungan kerajaan dari segi faedah sosial dan kewangan kepada kumpulan rentan ini.

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Oleh itu, Suruhanjaya menyeru kerajaan agar menghapuskan semua halangan undang-undang dan pentadbiran yang melibatkan pelarian untuk membenarkan mereka mendapat akses sepenuhnya kepada pasaran buruh dan memastikan mereka menikmati hak untuk bekerja.

Tan Sri Hasmy Agam ialah pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam)


Government’s proposal to allow Rohingya refugees to seek employment

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commends the government for its proposal announced in parliament to allow Rohingya refugees to seek employment through a pilot project, which will focus on certain market sectors. The Commission welcomed a similar decision to issue work permits to refugees in July 2013.

However, that did not materialise. Suhakam reiterates that although Malaysia has not ratified the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, it is obliged to respect customary international law. Furthermore, access to safe and lawful employment is a fundamental human right, well established in international law, and applies to all persons including refugees and asylum seekers, and with good reason.

However, Suhakam remains concerned that despite the presence of thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers seeking registration with UNHCR in Malaysia, the lack of labour market integration of such persons may force them to seek employment in unregulated, illegal or dangerous conditions, which in turn may expose them to other risks including that of sexual exploitation or human trafficking.

While Suhakam recognises that many barriers continue to exist which may prevent refugees and asylum seekers from taking full advantage of their right to work, such as insufficient language skills, lack of knowledge of the local employment market and lack of training and work experience among others, it emphasises that refugees/asylum seekers who are permitted to engage in safe and lawful employment will be able to fulfil their basic survival needs and contribute to the needs of their families, in addition to becoming financially independent.

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Suhakam also advises that the successful employment of refugees and asylum seekers may be beneficial to all Malaysians as this will reduce the government’s apportionment of social and financial benefits for this group of vulnerable persons.

Accordingly, Suhakam calls on the government to remove all legal and administrative barriers affecting refugees to allow them full access to the labour market and ensure that they enjoy the right to work.

Tan Sri Hasmy Agam is chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam).

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