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Socio-legal framework on protecting migrant workers in Malaysia: Case study of Indonesian migrant domestic workers

Hakim, Muhammad Helmy (2015) Socio-legal framework on protecting migrant workers in Malaysia: Case study of Indonesian migrant domestic workers. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Malaysia has more than 400,000 registered domestic workers from various countries, and Indonesian making up 90% of them. The Indonesian migrant domestic workers (IMDWs) also rate the highest in number of victims. With respect to vulnerabilities, they have fallen victims and entrapped in various discriminations. Unfortunately, they do not get due
attention. This research primarily aims to assess legal consciousness of mistreated IMDWs by examining critically the interaction of their socio-cultural contexts and the Malaysian
employment law within the framework of legal dispute processing. Given this, on a general
basis, this research is to examine why only a few mistreated IMDWs, came forward to file lawsuit for adjudication. Additionally, the study is also undertaken to carry out socio-legal analysis with regard to developing patterns of disputes. Finally this study determines to identify the principal barriers which obstruct access to justice as experienced by mistreated IMDWs. This study employs a qualitative approach using case study techniques which are broadly applied in social science researches. The study reveals that IMDWs who are
engaged in disputes have shown reluctance to exercise their rights since they were perceived
as "legitimately defeated ". Trigger events, cultural context and personality styles are factors
that have blocked their transformation from naming, blaming and initially claiming which ultimately have resulted in the development of strategies by IMDWs. This study provides evidence of various strategies of resistance used by domestic workers, such as dissimulation, murmuring in their mother tongue, swearing honesty against accusation, leaving their workplaces legitimately (desertion), third party mediation and using “zikir”. The obstacles that IMDWs face can be grouped into: (1) problems related to justice institutions and (2)
problems related to justice seekers themselves.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Supervisor : Ahmad, Rusniah and Mohd Noor, Mansor
Item ID: 6219
Uncontrolled Keywords: Indonesian Domestic Workers, Legal Consciousness, Legal Protection, Malaysian Employment Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government
Date Deposited: 07 May 2017 11:36
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 07:11
Department: Ghazali Shafie Graduate School of Government
Name: Ahmad, Rusniah and Mohd Noor, Mansor
URI: https://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/6219

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