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What Methods Can Singapore Use to Further Protect Its Foreign Domestic Workers and Eradicate Forced Labor? 28 28 resulting in themnot being allowed to change employers free- ly, even when they are being subjected to exploitative condi- tions. Current workers need consent from their employers to switch employers. On the other hand, employers are allowed to freely terminate the employment contract one-sidedly without prior notice, which leaves workers open to sudden deportation and continues to make them vulnerable. The current conditions are in clear violation of the ILO’s Fair Recruitment Initiative and the general principles it sets out (ILO c, 14). The government should therefore aim to adapt its current regulations to allowFDWs to switch employers freely without prior consent and should require current employers to provide due notice in case of contract termination. FDWs are currently also not covered under Singapore’s EA. The EA regulates aspects such as working hours, overtime hours and pay, and sick leave, and it thus ensures decent working conditions. It is no coincidence that FDWs are excluded from this act, for they are supposedly protected under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA). However, a closer look into the legislation reveals that EFMA continues to leave FDWs vulnerable to forced labor. The act does not specify decent working standards but is instead purposely ambiguous and vague in its language. Wording, such as “adequate” rest, “acceptable” accommodation, and “adequate” food, gives employers the legal ability to exploit their workers (Employment of…). EFMA should either be adapted, in line with ILO Convention No. 189 and 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Convention No. 29, or FDWs should be protected under the EA. Although prevention is the most important aspect of fighting forced labor, more attention has to be given to the identifi- cation, treatment, protection, and rehabilitation of victims. In order for FDWs to be able to speak about the conditions and experiences they undergo while working, they must be ensured safety and protection for them to be comfortable enough to do so. An important first step in this process is ensuring that FDWs are aware of their rights, including labor rights in the workplace. When FDWs arrive in a new country, they often are not familiar with the host country’s legal sys- tem or language. To ensure they know their rights, and after implementation of the above-mentioned policy recommen- dations, Singapore should aim to educate its FDWs on this topic. Hence, compulsory training for FDWs should be made available for the purpose of keeping workers informed of their rights and what protective systems are in place, which will allow them to feel more comfortable seeking help if they feel they are being exploited. In addition, Singapore should, in cooperation with different stakeholders, aim to establish a Foreign Domestic Work- ers Union. This union would give FDWs a platform to voice their concerns in an organized and collective manner, which will continue to empower them to stand up for their rights. Under the current climate, it is challenging for FDWs to or- ganize themselves and meet, given that they work within the domestic sphere. It is therefore important that this union can meet physically and that FDWs obtain the right to attend these meetings freely. The union should also set up a system through which it is able to reach out to members on a regu- lar basis, in order to check up on them. This capability would further improve the ability of the Singapore government to identify victims of forced labor. Conclusions and Recommendations Several studies and reports have shown that FDWs continue to be victims of exploitative labor conditions that leave them vulnerable to forced labor. The Singapore government can and should implement the following recommendations to improve the situation for FDWs: • Ratify ILO Convention No. 189/Recommendation No. 203 and 2014 Protocol to the Forced Labour Con- vention No. 29. • Abolish recruitment fees for FDWs and create bilateral agreements to ensure the scope of social protection is extended to origin countries. • Allow FDWs to switch employers freely without pri- or consent, and require current employers to provide due notice in case of contract termination. • Adapt EFMA to be in line with Convention No. 189, or protect FDWs under the EA. • Make compulsory training available for FDWs to educate them on their rights and the mechanisms in place to protect them. • Work toward establishing a Foreign Domestic Work- ers Union.