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'Labour firm took my son'

'Labour firm took my son'

A former labour trainee said she has filed a complaint with the local rights group Adhoc accusing the company of holding her son for ransom after she accepted their offer to care for him while she worked abroad in Malaysia but then fled abusive working conditions there.

Seang Ly, 28, said yesterday that the Service Recruitment Company offered to take care of her child without charge while she worked in Malaysia after her mother brought the child to visit her while she was working in a training centre in Russey Keo district.

“I went to work in Malaysia in May 2010 and I stayed with my boss for only eight months, and then I escaped from the house to ask for help from the police because I could not live with them anymore,” she said.

“My house owner used violence against me almost everyday such as hitting me, throwing heavy things at me and sometimes pouring hot water on me.”

She said that after she fled the abusive conditions in Malaysia and returned back to her home province in Kratie province in January this year, the company refused to give her son back.

Instead, she said, the company threatened to have her arrested and imprisoned.

“I went to visit my son after I arrived in Cambodia in order to take him back home, but the company refused to give him back to me if I didn’t pay them US$1,100,” said Seang Ly.

She added that this prompted her to file a complaint in January.

Ya Ly, chief of Thma Kre commune in Kratie province where Seang Ly resides, said the company had no right to separate a child from its parents and prohibit them from meeting.

“The company does not have the right to keep a child from their parents,” he said.

He added that the company could be accused of human trafficking violations if the allegations of holding the child for ransom were true.

Staff members from the Service Recruitment Company could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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