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Press releases | Journals | Research Studies


Press releases | Journals | Research Studies


Press releases | Publications | Research Studies

Reports, Journals & Publications

These are the publications we have contributed to over the years.

International Organisation for Migration

Assessment of Causes and Contributing Factors to Migrant Workers Becoming Undocumented in Malaysia

•  2023 •

Forced labour, and rights violations, is an entrenched problem in Malaysia

Malaysia | International Organization for Migration (

Lee Hwok Aun & Adrian Pereira

Can Malaysia End Forced Labour By 2030?

Issue 2  •  2023

Forced labour, and rights violations, is an entrenched problem in Malaysia

Migrant Worker’s Right to Redress Coalition

Towards A Comprehensive National Policy on Labour Migration For Malaysia

• 2023  •

Coalition member organisation:

Persatuan Pusat Sahabat Wanita Selangor, North South Initiative, Tenaganita, Family Frontiers & SUARAM 

A short hand book; The Advent Of Islam In The Southern Thailand - Dr Diptendu Sarkar (2024)

Dr Diptendu Sarkar has done his B.A. Honors in History & Bachelor of Education from University of Calcutta, India. He did his Masters in Islamic History & Culture and Political Science and also going to complete another Masters’ in Education. Completed M. Phil and PhD from the department of South and South East Asian Studies of  the University of Calcutta.

Investigating Sudden Cardiac Death of Nepali labour migrants in Malaysia (2021 - Ongoing)

by Bournemouth University, UK and North South Initiative (NSI) ‘Investigating Sudden Cardiac Death of Nepali Labour Migrants in Malaysia’, with support from Bournemouth University’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD), often during sleep, is a particular concern among Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia and gulf countries.

Equity-oriented evaluation to transform the international cooperation industry

with Ford Praxis & Global Change Center

A report summarizing the findings from the study “Landscape analysis to inform international evaluation in the service of equity,”

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Manifesto Rakyat (2022)

Compiled by Manifesto Rakyat Secretariat 

Manifesto Rakyat was conceived to document the ordinary people’s yearning for reforms towards a better Malaysia. It aims to be, in Abraham Lincoln’s much paraphrased words, a manifesto of the Rakyat, by the Rakyat and for the Rakyat. It is a bottom-up approach of a manifesto instead of the usual top-down proposition of political parties. North South Initiative (NSI) was happy to contribute the chapter on Migration.

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Reflections on the Future of the Dhaka Principle 4 (2022)

with Institute for Human Rights & Business

IHRB is marking ten years of the Dhaka Principles for Migration with Dignity with guest commentaries from representatives of business, trade unions, civil society organisations, and the UN system that reflect on the continuing importance of each of the twelve individual Principles.

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Post Arrival Manual for Domestic Workers coming to Malaysia (2022)

Compiled by North South Initiative (NSI) In collaboration with CARAM Asia

This manual includes pre-departure advisory, post arrival basic information, vital information on labour and migration matters, a financial management advisory, and support systems.  

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Post Arrival Facilitator’s Manual for Domestic Workers coming to Malaysia (2022)

Compiled by North-South Initiative In collaboration with CARAM Asia

A facilitators guide to Navigate Expectations, Contracts, Cultural Differences, Abuse Prevention, Legal Rights, Remittances, and Getting Support

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Roots to Fruits: Integrated with Integrity in Malaysia (2021)

This manual, which is long overdue for Malaysia, is based on the “Roots to Fruits- Producing Seeds of Integrity” guideline which was produced by the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) back in 2006.  It was one of Malaysia’s first attempts to look deeper into the heart and soul of the nation, going beyond anti-corruption enforcement in order to build an “ecosystem” where integrity can strive at every level and sector.

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Sudden Cardiac Death – Nepali (2019)

With Nepal Journal of Epidemiology

This paper reports on a consultation meeting that discussed two emerging health issues of Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia and the ways they can be addressed.

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Low‑wage migrant workers during coronavirus disease 2019: a social determinants analysis (2019)

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has had disproportionate effects on economically and socially marginalised people. 

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Joint Reports or Publications

Women migrant workers in Malaysia and Thailand’s agro- processing sectors: Findings of the qualitative study in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Selangor (Malaysia), and Rayong and Songkhla (Thailand, 2024)

by Mekong Migration Network

This study covers women migrant workers in Malaysia and Thailand’s rubber and palm oil processing sectors. Surveys and qualitative interviews with women migrant workers revealed a number of trends across two agro-processing subsectors in Malaysia and Thailand, including certain notable gender-based disparities with regards to contracts, earnings, discrimination and abuse, and access to services. 

Buku Panduan Hak Pekerja

Malaysian Trade Unions Database – LLRC

Forced labour, and rights violations, is an entrenched problem in Malaysia. Dive into the ‘Buku Panduan Hak Pekerja’ by LLRC Info for comprehensive insights into Malaysian labor rights.

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Mapping Journeys: a MIDEQ Malaysia exhibition 2023

The MIDEQ Hub unpacks the complex and multi-dimensional relationships between migration and inequality in the context of the Global South. 

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Human Rights Report Malaysia 2023 Overview
Civil & Political Rights (2023)


Detention without trial, right to justice, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, free and fair elections, freedom of religion and belief, corruption and governance, migrants and refugees. North South Initiative (NSI) was happy to contribute to the section on Migration) 

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Malaysia’s human trafficking routes: what the collective data tells us about migrant worker exploitation (2021)

Supported by Freedom Collaborative

In total, the participating organizations submitted 67 routes in which Malaysia was the destination country. These included recorded cases originating from Cambodia, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, as well as from within Malaysia itself. In addition to this data on routes used by at-risk migrants, the CSOs submitted extra details of the most recent cases they have encountered involving these routes. As a result, the data set provides the mode of transport and also the industries of exploitation for each specific destination within Malaysia.

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Malaysia Human Rights Report 2020 (2021)


This report on the 2020 situation in Malaysia brings to us the struggle in detail and the tensions. The report is also special as it covers a unique year when the whole world saw a shutdown like never in recent history. It exposed global weaknesses and the emergence of a whole new world of digital supremacy (what has been called “Surveillance Capitalism “) with its own issues. We saw health services challenged like never before. North South Initiative (NSI) was happy to contribute to the section on Migration) 

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A Quick Guide to Migrant Workers’ Rights (2021)

Published by Bar Council Malaysia

This book is an abridged and updated version of Migrant Workers’ Access to Justice: Malaysia (Eleanor Taylor–Nicholson, Renuka Balasubramaniam and Natasha Mahendran; Bar Council Malaysia, 2019), the first comprehensive study on access to justice for migrant workers in Malaysia, research for which was funded by Open Society Foundations. 

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Kesehatan dan Keselamatan Pekerja Kelapa Sawit (2021)

Tim Penyusun

Transnational Palm Oil Labor Solidarity, Jawatankuasa Sokongan Masyarakat Ladang, North South Initiative, China Medical Board, Serbuk Indonesia. Modul ini merupakan bagian dari penelitian “Breaking Structural Inequities: Uplifting Plantation Workers Dignity”. yang dimungkinkan melalui proyek kolaborasi berbagai organisasi multi nasional yang mendapatkan dukungan dari China Medical Board.

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Freedoms On The Move The Civic Space Of Migrant Workers And Refugees

by CIVICUS, Solidarity Centre

Through two in-depth surveys, one of migrant workers and another of refugees, this study sought to understand more about the main challenges faced by migrant workers and refugees in exercising their rights to the fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression; the factors that make them more likely to try to assert their rights and the factors that make them more vulnerable to violations and abuses; and the perpetrators and enablers of denials of their rights.

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Reports or Publications with input from NSI

National Action Plan on Forced Labour 2021-2025 (2023)

by Ministry of Human Resources Malaysia

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Accelerating Change: The Potential of Capital Market Actors in Addressing Modern Slavery Insight Briefing (2023)

by Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST); a multi-stakeholder initiative based at United Nations University Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR)

This brief is aimed at capital market actors—asset owners, asset managers, private equity funds, stock exchanges, investment banks, and development finance institutions (DFIs)— and in particular those engaged in high-risk sectors like extractives, construction, and agriculture. It focuses on their crucial role in addressing modern slavery and the strategies, practices, and leverage of their peers. 

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Migration as Economic Imperialism (2023)

by Immanuel Ness

This event celebrates the publication of Immanuel Ness’s latest book, Migration is Economic Imperialism: How International Labour Mobility Undermines Economic Development in Poor Countries (Polity, 2023).

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COMANGO UPR Report 2023

by Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO)

 The Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the UPR Process (COMANGO) carried out a series of national and regional engagements and consultations with CSOs and individual experts, including non-members of COMANGO, to facilitate participation, input and feedback on the items included in this report.

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Casinos, cyber fraud, and trafficking in persons for forced criminality in Southeast Asia (2023)


Trafficking in persons for forced criminality has been driven by organized crime groups in the region, which operate in a remarkably open way. Their illicit activities are linked to various legal and illegal entertainment establishments, such as casinos, hotels, and registered companies (businesses), which operate from compound-like buildings where victims are harbored and forced to commit, or be complicit in, cyber-enabled crimes.

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COVID-19 and migrants: lessons for pandemic preparedness from the Malaysian experience (2023)

by Globalisation and Health

Focusing on COVID-19 and migrant workers in Malaysia, this review addresses two research queries: (i) what are the policy responses of the government toward migrants with regard to COVID-19? (ii) what are the lessons learned from the Malaysian experience of COVID-19 and migrants that can inform pandemic preparedness, especially regarding migrant health policy?

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Dialogue Findings Report January 2021 Supporting Freedom Of Association For Migrants (2021)

by VUKA Coalition for Civic Action

Steering Group Member, International Center For Not- For- Profit Law (ICNL) hosted a civil society discussion to explore practical measures to support the implementation of the recent report by the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants which examined the global state of freedom of association of migrants. 

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SUMMARY REPORT: Supporting Implementation of the Recommendations from the Latest Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants: Right to Freedom of Association for Migrants and their Defenders (2021)

by VUKA Coalition for Civic Action

On 10 November 2020, under the auspices of the Vuka! Coalition’s Rapid Response and Catalytic Initiatives Action Team, Vuka! Steering Group Member, International Center For Not- For- Profit Law (ICNL) hosted a discussion to provide an opportunity for civil society to discuss this report with the Special Rapporteur and identify concrete ways that all stakeholders can help safeguard migrants’ civic freedoms, especially in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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Women migrant workers in Malaysia and Thailand’s agroprocessing sectors: Findings of the qualitative study in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Selangor (Malaysia), and Rayong and Songkhla (Thailand, 2021)

by Mekong Migration Network (MMN)

This research was jointly carried out by the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) and partner civil society and grassroots organizations in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand (see Annex 4). It was supported by Safe and Fair: Realizing Women Migrant Workers’ Rights and Opportunities in the ASEAN Region, a programme that is part of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative to eliminate violence against women and girls and implemented through a partnership between the ILO and UN Women, in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and funded by the European Union (EU).

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Cambodia to Malaysia: The impact of labour migration on woman and their children (2020)

by Por Heong Hong, Wong Pui Yan and Tan Beng Hui (COMMITTEE FOR ASIAN WOMEN)

The research maps out the geographical areas from where the migration in Cambodia has taken place and also the areas in Malaysia where the Cambodian workers tend to concentrate.

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Of Rights and Poisons: Accountability of the Agrochemical Industry (2018)

by Sarojeni V. Rengam, Milagros S. Serrana and Ilang-Ilang Quijano with Danica Castillo and Deeppa Ravindran

In working for a global agreement or framework on corporate accountability, it is imperative that the deeds of agrochemical companies be examined with respect to internationally recognised and respected human rights. 

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A guidebook for prospective migrant workers

What To Expect As A Migrant Worker In Malaysia translated into 6 languages

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