Four Cambodian labourers – two of them under 18 – and two Cambodian maids are scheduled to be repatriated today from Malaysia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday.
According to ministry spokesman Chum Sonry, all six had been cheated by brokers into travelling to Malaysia in February.
“The Cambodian Embassy has helped to give them a place to stay and food since August 19 after they encountered hardship while working,” he said.
The maids were lured to Malaysia in spite of a standing 2011 moratorium forbidding the recruitment of Cambodian maids there, which was passed after numerous reports of abuses.
But maids have continued to be recruited, and many are believed to still be stuck in the country.
“They were lured by a broker into working abroad through lies that they would find good working conditions with better salaries,” Sonry said.
A new memorandum of understanding – this one including stricter protections on workers’ rights – that would reopen the pipeline of Cambodian maids to Malaysia has been stalled for months.