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Families fear abuse overseas

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Eight families in Kampong Chhnang filed complaints with Adhoc over the weekend, reporting that their sons and daughters sent abroad to work as maids and fishermen were being mistreated and that in some cases, they had not heard from them in nearly a year.

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Family members of five men sent to work on Thai fishing boats in Africa file a complaint with Adhoc over the weekend, saying they have not heard from their sons in several months.

Adhoc provincial coordinator Sam Chankea said his office received reports from the families of six women who had been sent to work as maids in Malaysia, claiming that last year their daughters had complained of abuse and had “begged” for help.

Sam Chankea also said the families of five men who had been sent to work on Thai fishing boats in Africa reported that they had not heard from their sons for several months.

“The men who were working as fishermen stopped sending money back to their families, so their families became worried, and the six Cambodian maids reported incidents of abuse and begged for help,” he said.

“Most of them forgot the names of the company or could not contact the company, so right now Adhoc is investigating,” he added.

Pin Hun said her son, 21-year-old Van Heng, went to Thailand in August 2011 on a three-year contract with a boat fishing off the coast of Africa.

She said she was “worried about his safety and afraid he is being mistreated” because she had not heard from him since he first arrived in Africa and sent back US$100.

Kov Sam similarly reported that she had not heard from her 25-year-old daughter, Khin Non, since she went to Malaysia on a two-year contract in 2010.

“I wonder why my daughter hasn’t called for two years. I don’t know what happened to her out there. I miss her so much,” she said.

Chiv Phally, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department, said authorities would conduct an investigation into the complaints.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that seven of 14 Cambodian men who last week made desperate calls for help to their families, saying they had been trafficked onto Thai fishing boats in Indonesia, had been found and would be repatriated to the Kingdom on Tuesday.

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