Two young Vietnamese women seek assistance at the CAMSA office in Penang.
November 6, 2008: In April of this year, the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA) worked with the local NGO Tenaganita to establish an office to support Vietnamese guest workers in Penang, Malaysia. In six months of action, the office has intervened in over 30 cases, large and small, affecting around 3,000 workers. In order to expand its work, the office has set up a national hotline for the 130,000 Vietnamese laborers throughout Malaysia.
One of the most recent cases tackled by the office has been that of two young women workers at the firm Perabut Mei-Wah in the Juru area of Penang. The pair had been sewing sofa liners at the firm since October of 2006, having been sent there by the labor export firm NAPHACO. CAMSA is putting pressure on the company to pay the two young workers the wages that they are owed. In this case in particular, NAPHACO has showed willingness to take some responsibility, has been attentive to the plight of the women, and asked the CAMSA support office to lend a hand.