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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philimore case dropped

Philimore case dropped

THE mother of a woman who says she was abused while working in Malaysia as a domestic helper said yesterday that she had decided not to pursue legal action against the Cambodian labour-recruitment firm that sent her daughter abroad, after the company agreed to an out-of-court-settlement.

Nun Phar says her 24-year-old daughter, Moeung Sophat, fell ill after being overworked while in Malaysia and needed to be hospitalised upon her return to Cambodia late last month, when she looked pale and thin and was no longer menstruating. Shortly after her daughter came back, Nun Phar threatened to file complaints against Philimore, the government-sanctioned recruitment firm that sent Moeung Sophat abroad, unless it agreed to pay US$1,000 in compensation.

Yesterday, she said she had agreed to drop the complaints against the company in exchange for a slightly smaller settlement.

“I decided to stop complaints about the company because they agreed to give me 3 million riels [US$707] already, even though this amount of money is not enough for treatment my daughter,” she said.

Sok Chanpheakdey, director of Philimore, yesterday confirmed that the company had paid Nun Phar 3 million riels, but denied that it had done so because of any wrongdoing on the part of the company.

“We decided to give her 3 million riels for encouragement and for her to do something to help her living standard,” he said. “It is not for compensation because we are not wrong.”

He said that the company was also helping Moeung Sophat prepare a complaint against her Malaysian employer, who she says was abusive.

“We went to her house in order to take her pictures and we will help her to file a complaint against her employer in Malaysia,” he said.

Sok Chanpheakdey said Philimore regularly sends between 250 and 300 domestic workers to Malaysia every month.

Three separate migrant-recruitment firms were investigated last month following allegations of abuse.

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