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Fatally abused maid needs justice: family

The family of a 16-year-old former maid who died at Calmette Hospital on Sunday, weeks after allegedly falling ill in Malaysia, say they will launch a lawsuit seeking the payment of back wages and punitive damages from their daughter’s former employer.

The legal aid group Community Legal Education Center pledged to provide the family with a lawyer to initiate proceedings against Toch Srey Neth’s employer, who allegedly beat and overworked her, while withholding food and pay from her.

Srey Neth died on Sunday of organ failure stemming from septic shock, according to her death certificate.

Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the CLEC, said the group would help the family initiate a lawsuit for wrongful death.

“We do not want see her die unjustly,” he said. “We want her to have died with compensation and justice, not like this.”

Tola said the CLEC would send a letter to the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia as soon as possible to speed up the proceedings in Srey Neth’s case and those before it.

Yesterday, Srey Neth’s family prepared a cremation ceremony – with financial assistance from the CLEC and village and commune authorities – at the Por Prek pagoda in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district.

Srey Neth’s father, Toch Sarouen, said that after the ceremony, the family would take the first steps towards launching their suit.

“We met NGO officials to prepare documents, and I will file the suit after the cremation,” he said. “My daughter has gone away. We will never see her again. Her mother was crying so much after losing her only daughter.”

T&P Co Ltd, which recruited Srey Neth to work in Malaysia, had skirted around regulations forbidding the recruitment of minors by persuading the girl and her family to apply under the name Koy Lida, and to list her age as 23.

T&P has since been closed for recruiting minors, and an arrest warrant has been issued for its director.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at david.sen@phnompenhpost.com

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