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

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian