Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health Ministry pledges new care for returning migrants

Health Ministry pledges new care for returning migrants

A woman who formerly worked as a maid in Malaysia is chained up in Kampong Cham last year.
A woman who formerly worked as a maid in Malaysia is chained up in Kampong Cham last year. Heng Chivoan

Health Ministry pledges new care for returning migrants

Health Minister Mam Bunheng pledged to cooperate with the International Organization for Migration to take care of the healthcare and mental illness needs of returning migrant workers during a meeting in Phnom Penh on Tuesday.

IOM regional migration health manager Maria Nanette Motus had requested the ministry’s assistance at the meet, noting that the issues had traditionally been dealt with by the IOM.

Repatriated migrant workers often face dire mental health issues upon their return to Cambodia, with little to no state assistance.

Some former maids repatriated from Malaysia suffer from such severe trauma that they are chained up by their own families.

“The ministry promises to cooperate with the IOM to take care of the health and mental illness of migrants who were saved from abroad,” Bunheng said during the meeting, according to a transcript provided by his secretary.

Details of what that cooperation would entail were not available yesterday. Neither the Health Ministry nor the IOM responded to requests for comment about the meeting.

Tim Sovanna, mother of former maid Moa Rithy, said her family had spent almost $5,000 since Rithy’s return from Malaysia in 2012 paying the costs of her numerous mental issues.

“Now she is a bit better. But I never let her go anywhere because I am afraid of losing her again,” she said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Bumpy road for local ride apps

    Ride-hailing services seem to have grown into a dominant player in the capital’s transportation sector. Relatively unknown and little used in the Kingdom at the beginning of this year, services like PassApp, Grab and ExNet are now commonplace on Phnom Penh streets. However, the

  • Hun Sen lays out party’s platform

    Caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday credited liberating Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge as among the reasons why people will vote for his ruling Cambodian People Party (CPP) in the July 29 national elections. Hun Sen, who has held the reins of power in Cambodia

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition