Six Cambodian women rescued from allegedly abusive conditions in China and Malaysia were returned home yesterday after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervened in their cases, officials said.
Two women – Soa Kimey and Len Chenda, both from Kampong Cham province – were returned to the country yesterday from China, where they had been trafficked and sold to Chinese men as “brides”, while the other four were returned from Malaysia, where they had been working as maids.
Sending maids to Malaysia was banned in 2011 after consistent reports of abuses, including rape and murder.
While it was not clear when the women were sent to Malaysia, their employment was arranged by a local Cambodian recruiter.
Chum Sonry, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said the women had been mistreated by Malaysian company Comy Venture Cleaning Services.
“They were mistreated and suffered difficult working conditions, including low salaries.
They wanted to come back home, so we returned them,” he said.
In a report for the first six months of the year, local rights group Adhoc said it had received 74 cases of abusive work practices abroad, which included 438 individual victims.
As well as a number of cases involving women trafficked into marriage in China, 35 cases were reported in Malaysia and 21 in Thailand.
Chhan Sokunthea, head of Adhoc’s women’s section, warned Cambodian women to “please be careful before deciding to work abroad”.