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Canada Investigating Forced Labor Claims in Malaysian Palm Oil and Glove Industries

Malaysian firms have faced increasing scrutiny in recent years over reports of labor abuses.

Video source: YouTube, CBS News

Canada is investigating allegations of forced labor in Malaysia's palm oil and glove manufacturing industries, the government said on Friday.

Malaysian firms, which includes some of the world's biggest palm oil and rubber glove producers, have faced increasing scrutiny in recent years over reports of labor abuses.

Employment and Social Development Canada told Reuters in an email that its Labor Program was "actively researching a number of forced labor allegations in different countries and sectors, including palm oil and glove manufacturing in Malaysia."

It declined to provide further details or name specific companies being probed.

Malaysia's human resources ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the last year, the United States has banned imports from three Malaysian firms on suspicions of forced labor.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has said it found forced labor indicators such as excessive hours, abusive living and working conditions, debt bondage, intimidation, physical and sexual violence, and retention of identity documents at these companies. read more

The sanctioned companies include Top Glove, the world’s biggest latex glove maker, and the two of the world’s top palm oil producers, Sime Darby Plantation and FGV Holdings.

Top Glove said in April it has resolved all indicators of forced labor found at its factories.

Sime Darby has said it is committed to combating forced labor and has robust policies to protect workers' rights.

FGV has said it has taken concrete steps in recent years to demonstrate commitment to respect human rights and uphold labor standards.


Source: Reuters, CBS News

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