TWC2 was invited to speak at the 2017 United Nations Association of Singapore Model United Nations (UNASMUN) preparatory conference which took place at the Singapore Institute of Management from 19-22
At the conference, TWC2 President, Dr Noorashikin Abdul Rahman, presented an overview of the working and living conditions of migrant workers in Singapore to the conference participants who were pre-university students. Drawing on cases and research done by TWC2 and other organisations, she described how current structures of
recruitment, gaps in legislation, the framework for management of migrant workers and system for seeking recourse and justice have made them vulnerable to being exploited.
She noted that the issue of exploitation of migrant workers is a global one given that there are 150 million migrant workers worldwide. She questioned the sustainability of the current model of labour migration and management
of labour migrants as the social and health costs of migration are immense. Even though migration has enabled some workers to provide a better life for their families, shore up the economies of their home country through remittances and bolster the development of wealthier countries, migrant workers are largely disadvantaged as the current
system is an exploitative one.
Migrants have little choice but to pay hefty fees to secure overseas employment. In the countries of destination, they earn meagre wages and endure poor employment and living conditions which take a heavy toll on their well-being. Migrant families are also torn apart as parents have to leave their children behind to provide for their basic needs.
Dr Noorashikin emphasised that governments of sending and host countries have a moral obligation to provide better protection for migrant workers and ensure fair treatment. After her presentation, she engaged in a lively discussion with the students who came to realise the need for governments to re-think the current system of migration, invest more resources to serve the needs of migrant workers and their families and work with
each other and different stakeholders to offer them better protection.