Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Domestic workers call for rights protection

Domestic workers call for rights protection

Members of the Cambodian Dosmestic Workers held a press conference yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied
Members of the Cambodian Dosmestic Workers held a press conference yesterday in Phnom Penh. Soth Koemsoeun

Domestic workers call for rights protection

Domestic workers and NGOs yesterday urged the government to ratify a UN convention to protect domestic workers’ rights and freedoms, and to regulate their working conditions.

Meas Sra Aemphalla, a member of the Cambodian Domestic Workers Network (CDWN), said many women were forced to work overtime, did not have time to rest during lunch and were prevented from taking days off.

“When they force me to work overtime, I just want to cry. When I refused to work, they threatened to cut my salary. And when I agreed to work overtime, they said they’d add more money to my salary, but I have never had that,” she said.

Chan Sophal, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said that among 600 domestic workers he interviewed, 92 percent were women, with 65 percent being employed by a foreigner.

Of the interviewees, 11 percent found the work conditions unacceptable, and 83 percent had “not received any insurance”, Sophal said.

He also said some domestic workers complained about being forced to work overtime. Of those who asked for overtime, 18 percent said that they did not receive their extra pay. Almost 20 percent said they did not get holidays.

The Ministry of Labour and Ministry of Women’s Affairs could not be reached yesterday.

Vun Samphors, CDWN president, urged the government to adopt the UN’s Convention 189, known as the Domestic Workers Convention. “They should receive equal rights as other workers,” she said.

William Conklin, country director for worker rights group Solidarity Center, said domestic workers should be recognised because they “contribute importantly to the country”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia