Domestic work must be brought into the formal economy and properly regulated in order to combat the abuse and inhumane conditions that plague the sector, officials and nongovernmental organisations said Friday. Speaking at a national consultation meeting in Phnom Penh, Minister of Labour Vong Sauth said that because of the lack of regulation, the government could not accurately count the domestic workers employed in the Kingdom. The entrenchment of domestic servitude in Cambodian society, he added, has slowed the establishment of official protections. “Laws defending domestic workers are complicated because this is a tradition that has existed for many years,” he said. Bill Salter, director of the International Labour Organisation’s sub-regional office for East Asia, estimated that 28,000 children are employed as domestic workers in Phnom Penh alone, around 10 percent of children in the capital. He cited the case of an 11-year-old girl, who was allegedly tortured and beaten by her employers before they were arrested last month, as evidence of the need for protections.
Labour Law: Domestics need legal help: groups