Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Maids to Saudi Arabia denied

Maids to Saudi Arabia denied

Maids to Saudi Arabia denied

Both the government and the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies yesterday denied media reports that Cambodia and Vietnam will provide domestic workers to Saudi Arabia.

Citing Saudi Arabian newspapers, the news website Emirates 24/7 reported yesterday that Cambodian and Vietnam had agreed to send maids to the country if basic conditions such as minimum break times were ensured.

This would help fill the shortfall of maids in Saudi Arabia after Indonesia and the Philippines both placed moratoriums on sending domestic migrant workers to the Middle Eastern nation last year.

But Hou Vudthy, deputy general director at the Ministry of Labour, said yesterday that Cambodia had never negotiated or discussed sending maids to work in Saudi Arabia.

“We have not sent maids or discussed sending maids to Saudi Arabia or any Arab countries,” he said.

ACRA board member Lao Ly Hok said the association had looked at the possibility of sending maids to Saudi Arabia a long time ago, but concluded it was not viable after conducting studies.

“For our members of ACRA, we don’t have this green light to send to Saudi Arabia, and [under] our ACRA policy we did not decide to send to Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that no such plan was in the works.

He said ACRA was busy negotiating protections so domestic workers could return to Malaysia after the government placed a moratorium on sending maids there last year following a spate of abuse scandals.

Joel Preston, a consultant with the Cambodian Legal Education Center, said that given the precedents of abuse, it was crucial protections were negotiated before any thought was given to sending maids to countries such as Saudi Arabia.

“We really need to make sure that those measures are enforced otherwise we’re going to have a repeat of the same process that we saw in Malaysia, it’s going to be mass exploitation and possible fatalities,” he said.

The Indonesian moratorium on sending domestic workers to Saudi Arabia was instituted in August after a maid found guilty of murdering her employer was beheaded.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Boyle at [email protected]
Mom Kunthear at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With

  • Analyst: Government appointments ‘a waste of national budget’

    The government has appointed over 200 officials as undersecretaries of state, secretaries of state, assistants and advisers at various institutions since October 1. While senior officials said the appointments were aimed at ensuring higher efficiency at the national level, social analysts said the practice is merely power-sharing

  • Rainsy ‘fallen in own trap’, PM says as Sokha ‘bet’ defended

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has defended his decision to accept a “bet” offered by opposition figure Sam Rainsy involving the “release” of former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Kem Sokha, denying it violated the authority of the courts. The leader of the Cambodia National