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KUALA LUMPUR - Migrant workers employed in Malaysia's garment industry experience conditions consistent with the use of forced labour, according to a new study by the Transparentem NGO.

Investigators interviewed around 45 workers from Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia employed by three apparel manufacturers in Malaysia and say that all reported conditions linked with forced labour by the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The migrant workers had paid recruitment-related fees of up to US$5,294, the equivalent of 20 months of minimum wage pay in Malaysia, to land their jobs. Many had borrowed money from their employers to finance these, resulting in potential debt bondage.

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