A MAN in Banteay Meanchey province has lodged a complaint with local rights groups and provincial authorities after being told that his daughter had been abused after she was sent abroad as a domestic worker.
In the complaint, Kean Keal accused the recruitment agency that sent his daughter abroad, Philimore Cambodia Company, of being slow to act on his concerns that she has been abused.
The man said he hasn’t heard from his 18-year-old daughter, Kuch Srey Thea, since she left home last year.
“I have never received any information about her,” he said.
Through a friend of Kuch Srey Thea in Malaysia, who he declined to name, Kean Keal said he has heard that his daughter has been subjected to abuse while working as a maid.
“She told me that my daughter was tortured by her landlord that she worked with,” he said.
When he asked the agency to return his daughter from Malaysia, agency staff demanded US$500, he said.
The company’s director, Lao Lyhock, could not be reached for comment.
Prak Sophima, monitor for the women’s programme at the rights group Adhoc in Banteay Meanchey, said the agency has refused to reveal Kuch Srey Thea’s address in Malaysia.
“The director of the company told me that he is flying to Malaysia to see whether [the allegations] are true or not,” she said.
The director of the province’s labour department also said he had been told the agency’s director planned to go to Malaysia.
“I told him to take action on this problem as soon as possible,” said Lim Sothet, who said he will urge the agency to meet with Kean Keal.
Thousands of Cambodian women go abroad each year to work as domestic servants. However, rights groups warn that some encounter abusive situations and arduous working conditions, and that in some places they are not covered by labour laws.
Advocates recommend prospective migrant workers go through one of more than 20 recruitment agencies licenced by the Ministry of Labour.
Philimore is one of the agencies licenced by the ministry.
Adhoc’s Prak Sophima said her organisation last year handled two cases in which Banteay Meanchey women working as domestic workers in Malaysia accused their employers of abuse.