Dialog Suhakam bersama NGO berkenaan golongan rentan dan terpinggir (Malay/English)

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[ENGLISH VERSION BELOW] Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia Malaysia (Suhakam) mengakui bahawa kepentingan kesihatan awam merupakan prioriti utama dan memuji usaha kerajaan yang berjaya menurunkan kadar jangkitan kes Covid-19.

Suhakam ingin menekankan bahawa mana-mana krisis seringkali mempunyai kesan terhadap akses kepada hak asasi manusia, terutamanya terhadap golongan rentan dan terpinggir.

Sesi dialog secara maya Suhakam yang diadakan pada 16 April 2020 bersama NGO yang bergiat dengan golongan miskin bandar, golongan 40% terbawah dan gelandangan di Malaysia telah memberi pendedahan kepada beberapa isu utama termasuk:

  • Keadaan ekonomi dan kerentanan sosial komuniti miskin bandar telah menjadi semakin buruk. Ramai yang bekerja di sektor berkemahiran rendah atau yang menerima gaji harian telah diberhentikan kerja atau dipaksa mengambil cuti tanpa gaji. Bantuan kerajaan kepada komuniti 40% terbawah wajar dipuji, namun begitu terdapat beberapa golongan yang terpinggir seperti ibu tunggal, orang kurang upaya, komuniti LGBT, warga asing, pelarian dan gelandangan. Usaha kerajaan dalam isu pendidikan menjangkau sebahagian besar masyarakat namun, tidak kepada mereka yang tiada akses kepada pembelajaran secara dalam talian kerana tidak mempunyai komputer atau komputer riba dan/atau internet
  • Keperluan permit menyukarkan pergerakan dan kerja-kerja penyerahan bantuan kepada golongan miskin bandar di mana ia menyulitkan usaha NGO untuk menyerahkan bantuan kepada kelompok miskin tegar. Masih terdapat sejumlah besar keluarga yang terdesak memerlukan bantuan ini. Bantuan juga tidak diasingkan mengikut keperluan khas komuniti seperti ibu menyusu serta bayi

Suhakam ingin memberikan syor-syor seperti berikut:

  • Kerajaan perlu berusaha untuk mengurangkan batasan atau sekatan, agar NGO boleh menjadi rakan utama kerajaan semasa perintah kawalan pergerakan dalam usaha penyerahan bantuan kepada sebahagian masyarakat yang tidak dapat menerima bantuan kerajaan. Bagi mengelakkan atau meminimumkan pertindihan bantuan, kami menyeru kerajaan untuk berkongsi data dan maklumat berkenaan bantuan kerajaan, secara umum
  • Bantuan juga harus lebih bersesuaian dan responsif kepada keperluan masyarakat seperti ibu menyusu serta bayi. Pekerja asing merupakan komuniti yang paling banyak kehilangan sumber pendapatan dan bergantung kepada bantuan sebagai contoh, soup kitchen yang diusahakan oleh NGO. Bekalan tambahan daripada Kkrajaan dan kedutaan negara masing-masing amat diperlukan untuk meneruskan usaha soup kitchen
  • Untuk mereka yang tidak mempunyai akses kepada pembelajaran secara dalam talian, Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia disarankan untuk menyediakan saluran pendidikan melalui televisyen dan bekalan bahan pembelajaran kepada kanak-kanak yang tidak mempunyai akses kepada pembelajaran secara dalam talian
  • Kerajaan perlu mengambil langkah-langkah positif untuk menyediakan peluang pekerjaan kepada kelompok 40% terbawah, pasca Covid-19, bagi membolehkan mereka memperolehi sumber pendapatan demi kelangsungan ekonomi mereka. Pasca krisis, perhatian perlu diberikan untuk menambah baik dasar perlindungan sosial, strategi pembasmian kemiskinan dan perancangan fiskal yang bersesuaian untuk memenuhi keperluan komuniti yang berbeza
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Perkara 5(1) dan Perkara 8(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan memberi jaminan bahawa tiada seorang pun boleh diambil nyawanya atau dilucutkan kebebasan dirinya; dan tiada sesiapa boleh didiskriminasi dari sebarang dasar atau usaha yang dilakukan oleh kerajaan.

Suhakam menyeru kerajaan untuk membentuk dasar-dasar yang bertumpu kepada pemulihan segera akibat dari krisis pandemik ini.

English version

Virtual meeting with NGOs working with urban ooor, bottom 40%, homeless

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) accepts that public health priority is paramount and commends the government’s successful efforts during the movement control order in decreasing the rates of Covid-19 cases.

Suhakam wishes to reiterate that crisis situations always have a profound impact on people’s access to human rights; more so upon the vulnerable and marginalised communities.

Suhakam’s online dialogue on 16 April 2020 with NGOs working with urban poor, comprising the bottom 40% group and homeless in Malaysia, disclosed many core concerns which include:

  • Urban poor communities’ economic and social vulnerability has exacerbated. Many, who work in low-skilled or daily wage jobs, were terminated from work or forced to take unpaid leave. Government assistance for the bottom 40% community, while commendable, has left out some groups namely single mothers, people with disabilities, the LGBT community, migrants, refugees and the homeless. Education efforts taken by the government are reaching a large segment but not the poorer sectors who are unable to access the virtual classes, due to the unavailability of computers or laptops, and/or internet connection
  • NGOs’ efforts to deliver assistance to the urban poor groups have not been easy, as obtaining permits can severely limit their mobility and urgent outreach work. There are still large numbers of families in dire need for this aid. Aid has not been desegregated to respond to specific needs like nursing mothers and infants
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Suhakam wishes to propose the following recommendations:

  • The government should endeavour to ease the limitations or restrictions to enable the NGOs to become the government’s key partners during the movement control order in conducting aid deliveries to the segments of society left out from all government efforts. To avoid or minimise the duplication of aid, we call on the government to share data and information of the government aid, publicly. Aid should also be more targeted and responsive to the needs of the community such as nursing mothers and infants
  • Migrant workers are a huge community that have lost their income and depend on efforts such as soup kitchens run by NGOs. Additional resources from both the government and the respective embassies of countries are needed to continue these soup kitchens
  • For those without access to online education, a feasible measure to be undertaken by the Ministry of Education is to provide television educational channels and the supply of educational material for these children
  • The government should take positive measures to prepare some economic opportunities for the bottom 40% group, in the post Covid-19 period to enable them to earn some income for their economic survival. Attention should be given to improving social protection policies, poverty alleviation strategies, and fiscal planning customised to fulfil the communities’ differing needs post crisis

Article 5(1) and Article 8(2) of the Federal Constitution require the assurance that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty; and no one shall be discriminated from any policies or efforts by the government.

Suhakam calls on the government to design targeted policies to ensure a quick recovery from the pandemic crisis.

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