With the scarce data, it is as if child labour doesn’t exist in Malaysia. Even so, the instances of child labour are pervasive in marginalised communities, hidden away in the crevices of the plantation in East Malaysia, in urban slums such as Chow Kit and amongst the invisible children that the system did not consider and did not protect.
There is a thin line that differentiates occurrences of child labour and daily chores. In Malaysia, sometimes the line is blurred by our very own norm and collectivistic values. To the eyes of many, children working at pasar malam or night markets are common. We dwell further into what separates the two and the opinions of experts weighs in the matter.
Children working at a young age brought forth more harm than good as we witness the newspaper headlines and case studies highlighting the realities faced by child labourers. In this whitepaper, we unfold the complexity that propel child labourers to work and what should be done to ensure children aren’t heaving a burden on their frail shoulders.