Two Cambodian women working as maids in Malaysia have been missing for two years, while another three are being prevented from returning home, despite having finished their contracts, their concerned families said yesterday.
Parents and relatives of the five maids filed complaints on Monday with the Kampong Chhnang provincial office of human rights group Adhoc, which has promised to forward the complaints to the Ministry of Interior.
The maids’ families, who live in Por commune’s Kampong Leng district, said the women were employed by three different companies on two-year contracts in December 2009.
Dol Sam An, 18, and Kok Hon, 22, who were employed by STC, were missing, while Von Kolab, 27, who was employed by Human Power, and Houn Srey Moa, 21, and Merng Kea, 28, employed by T&C company, had not been allowed to return home, the families said.
Dol Chan, 60, Dol Sam An’s father, said each family had been paid about US$150 when their daughters signed on.
He had expected his daughter to send money back to her family; however, she had not contacted them at all.
“I do not know if she is safe. We worry that she is working so far away from us. She has not called or visited us for two years.
“I am so old. I miss my daughter so much. I have no information about what she is doing or where she is,” he said.
Sok Pring, 52, said her daughter Houn Srey Moa had finished a contract with T&C last month, but the company had refused to let her come home.
“Her employer threatens that if she does not continue working, the employer will not give her a salary – not even a single riel. They have forced my daughter to keep working. I need her back,” she said.
Som Chan Kea, an ADHOC coordinator, said the human rights group would send the complaints to the Ministry of Interior.
“The companies are ignoring these families and refusing to offer solutions. The company does not have the right to control these women,” he said.
Chan Na, a Human Power spokeswoman, disputed that Von Kolab was being held against her will and said she would be bought a return ticket – just as soon as prices dropped.
“The company and employer are willing to send her back because her contract has finished. However, it is nearly Chinese New Year and ticket prices are more expensive,” she said.
Last Friday, Chea Si Yan, from Pursat province, won a battle for her daughter Sanh Makara to be released from her contract after allegations she was being beaten and tortured while working as a maid in Malaysia. She has not yet returned to Cambodia.