A WOMAN who moved to Malaysia for what she thought was a promising sales job says she was instead forced to work long hours in a restaurant in a case that labour officials say highlights the dangers of overseas work.
Ary Lina, 23, now wants to take legal action against the Cambodian woman who she says cheated her.
Ary Lina, a widow from Kampong Cham province, said she took the job to earn money for herself and her young son, leading her to trust a friend she knew only as “Sophanna”.
“I really trusted her to give me a job so that I could … support my family,” Ary Lina said.
But when Ary Lina arrived in Kuala Lumpur in July, she said Sophanna took her passport and US$400 in cash and forced her to work in a restaurant for 13 hours a day, earning $175 – less than what she was promised.
At least 200,000 Cambodians find work abroad, both legally and illegally, according to the group CARAM Cambodia.
John McGeoghan, project coordinator for the Phnom Penh office of the International Organisation on Migration (IOM), advises potential migrants to use recruitment firms that have registered with the Ministry of Labour.
“I think lots of people who sign up with unofficial recruitment companies put themselves at risk of exploitation.”