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WASHINGTON DC – The US Department of Labor (DOL) has announced US$5 million in funding for a project to prevent and reduce forced and child labour abuses in the garment and palm oil industries in Malaysia.

The Social Accountability International (SAI) human rights NGO is behind the project which seeks to raise awareness of the root causes of forced and child labour, and also to prevent, identify and redress abusive practices.

Migrant workers in Malaysia's garment sector often face abusive labour conditions and fall prey to recruiters who trap workers in debt bondage, make improper wage deductions or provide unsafe or inadequate living conditions, according to the SAI.

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