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COI recommendations welcome, but more must be done: TWC2

Transient Workers Count Too says that going forward after the Little India riot Committee of Inquiry report, laws and regulations should be re-examined to see if they fall short in ensuring the welfare of migrant workers.

SINGAPORE: Advocacy group, Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) says it welcomes a recommendation from the Committee of Inquiry (COI) into the Little India riot that more can and should be done to inform foreign workers of their rights.

However a statement from its president Dr Russell Heng on Thursday (July 3) says going forward, laws, regulations and administrative process should be re-examined to see if they fall short in ensuring the welfare of migrant workers. "Just having workers know their rights is insufficient if those rights are not fully enforced by the authorities," he said.

Dr Heng indicated approval for the committee's suggestion to improve congregation areas in Little India with simple amenities such as toilets, rubbish bins and sheltered walkways.

"This addresses a TWC2 concern in our February 2014 submission to the committee that the approach should not be to reduce access to Little India but to improve on facilities in the area so that the greater numbers visiting on weekend need not be so disruptive," he stated.

The TWC2 president noted that the COI highlighted the importance of communication and cultural awareness in fostering a better relationship between workers and figures of authority. It had recommended basic training in cultural sensitivity for those who frequently interact with foreign workers, such as bus drivers, timekeepers, auxiliary police and police officers.
 

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