Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Eight return from China, Malaysia

Eight return from China, Malaysia

Eight return from China, Malaysia

The Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday the rescue of eight trafficked Cambodian women who worked either as maids in Malaysia or were tricked into becoming brides to men in China.

Of the eight women, five worked as domestic workers in Malaysia and three were married off to Chinese men.

Four of the five domestic workers in Malaysia were smuggled there illegally, and all complained of working long hours for a pittance.

The women sought refuge at the Cambodian Embassy and all five had been repatriated to Cambodia as of Saturday.

Meanwhile, the three brides in China were tricked into marrying Chinese men by dubious brokers and were rescued thanks to cooperation between the Cambodian Embassy in China and the International Organization for Migration.

“The [brides] will arrive in Cambodia on the 16th” of December, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry.

So far this year, the Foreign Ministry says 80 Cambodian women have been rescued from China and 38 from Malaysia.

The poor treatment of Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia prompted a ban on sending women to the country in 2011, although many continued to work there illegally.

On Friday, the Ministry of Labour announced it was lifting the ban in a bid to improve the conditions of the undocumented Cambodian maids, although human rights activists blasted the secrecy surrounding the move.

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