As Singapore goes cashless, dismantle structural barriers faced by foreign workers

In his National Day Rally speech on 20 August 2017, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about the need for greater efforts in migrating to cashless transactions. Subsequently, other ministers developed the point further. Transient Workers Count Too felt that it was important to ensure that whatever plans are drawn up, they should not inadvertently...

Seven Myanmar nationals jailed a year each for rioting

Seven Myanmar nationals were sentenced on 13 October 2017 to twelve months’ imprisonment for rioting. They had got into a fight with three other Burmese around 10:35pm on 4 June 2017. This was reported in Yahoo news. Apparently the fight — though the news story’s description suggests it was more of an attack — was over...

TWC2 joins two shadow reports on CEDAW

Transient Workers Count Too joined with 12 other NGOs in Singapore to submit a joint shadow report to the United Nations Committee on Cedaw (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) for the upcoming periodic review of Singapore. The joint report highlights a number of issues pertaining to foreign domestic workers...

HOME and TWC2 submit joint report on the exploitation of migrant domestic workers

The Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) have submitted a shadow report to the United Nations CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Committee. Singapore acceded to CEDAW in 1995. Countries who are party to CEDAW commit themselves to developing policies and regulatory frameworks...

Bangladesh’s Financial Express: The plight of Singapore migrants from Bangladesh

“The root of the problem faced by Bangladesh workers is a hands-off attitude by both governments. More on the side of the Bangladesh government,” TWC2’s Alex Au was quoted as saying in an article in Bangladesh’s Financial Express newspaper, 9 September 2017. Another volunteer with TWC2, Nicholas Harrigan, added that the Singapore government should consider...

Harri men go home, not everything resolved

On 23 June 2017, we put up a post on Facebook that said: This is Jafar Ahmmad. He came in 2014 to work for Harri Engineering. His boss, Nallusamy Narayanan accused him and other workers of taking their pay and not showing up for work. As it turns out, his boss was later jailed for...

TWC2 and HOME submit shadow report on Indonesia for CMW review

Transient Workers Count Too and the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) submitted a joint shadow report on Indonesia to the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in early August 2017. As a signatory to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members...

Letter to Straits Times: Set up portal for employers to hire foreign workers

This is a continuation of an exchange of letters between the Ministry of Manpower and TWC2, published in the Straits Times. The earlier part of the exchange can be seen here. Responding to TWC2’s letter published 23 August 2017, MOM’s was published on 26 August 2017: MOM: Early reporting of errant employers sees better outcomes We...

Going cashless? Over half of work permit holders don’t have bank accounts

  In early August 2017, it was reported in various media that public transport will be going cashless by 2020. By 2020, commuters travelling on Singapore’s transport system will no longer need to use cash or top up stored-value cards to pay for rides, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and TransitLink in a joint...

Letter to Straits Times: MOM’s advice out of step with reality

On 13 August 2017, the Straits Times highlighted the case of over a dozen Bangladeshi workers from SJH Trading. They told the newspaper that they had not been paid their salaries. Most are in their 40s, and had contracts stating they were to be paid a monthly salary of $1,600, excluding overtime pay. Their main...