Trafficking in Persons Report Downgrades Thailand and Malaysia to Lowest Tier

[ePrayer – Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking]


In the 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, the U.S. government has downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela to Tier 3, the lowest ranking of fighting against modern-day slavery. Ironically these 3 countries are among those that promote themselves as modern and fast-developing countries.

The report cites evidence of forced labour and sex trafficking in Malaysia and Thailand. It highlights Malaysia’s problem with migrants from other Asian nations who seek work on farms, factories and construction sites only to be trapped and have their passports taken and wages withheld.

In Thailand, according to the report, there are tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries being exploited in the commercial sex industry, on fishing boats, and as domestic servants. This downgrading could cause some multinational companies to reconsider investments in industries accused of using trafficked labour such as fisheries, which is a lucrative business in Thailand (Thailand is the world’s largest exporter of shrimp).

And in Venezuela, women and girls are often lured from poor interior regions to tourist centers with the promise of false job offers. When they arrive, they are often forced into prostitution.

More than 20 million people worldwide are believed to be ensnared in some form of forced labour, according to the International Labour Organisation. [TIP Report, CNN, CNBC]

Meditation on Scriptures:

‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.’ Proverbs 31:8-9

When we think that human trafficking is far from us, are we aware that the prawns we eat may be caught by the modern slaves working on the fishing boat, the clothes we wear may be sewed by the forced labourers in the factories, and the domestic workers in our society may be treated as slaves and with their wages withheld. They are voiceless and destitute. Will you speak up for them?

Pray for those people vulnerable to human trafficking:

  • Pray that the government of Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela will respond actively to their human trafficking issues;
  • Pray that God will rescue and heal those people who suffer from modern slavery;
  • Pray for good cooperation between nations and international NGOs, and for a comprehensive and feasible strategy to stop human trafficking.


Remember Health and Life of Labours

[ePrayer – Pray for laboursaround the world]

Alunimum Pot Makers in Cite Soleil

As we took rest on 1 May Labour Day, are we reminded of the current situation that faced by workers globally?

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that 2.34 million people die each year for work-related accidents and diseases. From these fatalities, 2.02 million correspond to occupational and work-related diseases. Every 15 seconds, a worker dies from a work-related accident or disease. Every 15 seconds, 160 workers have a work-related accident.

28 April was celebrated as World Day for Safety and Health at Work. As chemical safety is key to a healthy and safe working condition, this year theme ‘Safety and Health in the Use of Chemicals at Work’ is meant to highlight the benefits achieved through the production and use of chemicals while minimizing workers’ exposure as well as the emission of chemicals into the environment through national and international action. However, there is still a long way to achieve the goal. There are occasionally serious chemical incidents which put people’s health and environment at risk. Those who are exposed to harmful chemicals have the right to work in a safe and healthy working condition, as well as knowing the risks and receiving the necessary training and protection.

The ILO encourages governments, employers and workers to work together to ensure and promote safety in using chemicals and to put in place legislation and policy related to occupational safety and health.  In addition, there should be a balance between the effectiveness of using chemicals and the implementation of preventive measures on impact of workers, environment and society.

According to the ILO Convention on safety in the use of chemicals at work in 1990, the term ‘chemical’ refers to chemical elements and compounds, and their mixtures, whether natural or synthetic, such as pesticide to improve food harvest quality and farming area, drugs of curing diseases and home cleaning products. [ILO, UN News(1), UN News(2)]

Meditation on Hymns:

‘If God Build not the House’

If God build not the house, and lay
the groundwork sure, whoever build,
It cannot stand one stormy day;
If God be not the city’s shield,
If He be not their bars and wall,
In vain the watch-tower, men and all.

Though then thou wak’st when others rest,
Though rising thou prevent’st the sun,
Though with lean care thou daily feast,
Thy labour’s lost and thou undone;
But God his child will feed and keep,
And draw the curtain to his sleep.

May this hymn be a comfort and blessings to all people at work.

Pray for laboursaround the world:

  • Pray for efforts from different parties to provide readily available information about chemical hazards and risk, and associated preventive and protective measures;
  • May the rights and health of labours be protected by occupational safety and health legislation and policy;
  • Pray that decent work for all can be achieved.


Most Domestic Workers Worldwide Lack Legal Protection

[ePrayer – Pray for domestic workers worldwide]


Working behind closed doors of private households, domestic workers are shielded from public view and attention and most are unprotected by national legislation. International Labour Organisation (ILO) says at least 52 million people around the world – mainly women -are employed as domestic workers. Between the mid-1990s and 2010, there was an increase of more than 19 million domestic workers worldwide. Many migrate to other countries to find work. However, many domestic workers experience poor working conditions and insufficient legal protection. Only 10% of all domestic workers are covered by general labour legislation to the same extent as other workers. About 29.9% are completely excluded from national labour legislation. The precarious legal status of migrant domestic workers and their lack of knowledge of the local language and laws, make them especially vulnerable to abusive practices, such as physical and sexual violence, psychological abuse, non-payment of wages, debt bondage and abusive living and working conditions. [ILO]

Pray for domestic workers:

  • Pray that the rights and protection of domestic workers can be upheld;
  • Pray that God will rescue them from unjust bondage and exploitation.