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NGO, embassy help bring migrants home

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Four migrants and a 1-year-old girl arrive at the Phnom Penh International Airport after living in Malaysia without pay. central

NGO, embassy help bring migrants home

Four Cambodian migrant workers, who went unpaid at a Malaysian tyre factory, and a 1-year-old girl were brought home from Malaysia on Monday by NGO Central with help from the Cambodian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the Cambodian Migrant Workers Network, according a representative of the NGO.

Speaking to The Post on Monday, Dy The Hoya, project officer for labour rights organisation Central, said the family unit included a man and his wife, and an infant daughter born in Malaysia.

“The victims came from Preah Vihear province. They are a couple and two brothers, and they went to work in Malaysia at different periods. The husband and wife went to Malaysia four years ago, while the two other men had been working in Malaysia for just over a year,” The Hoya said.

The Hoya said that the victims had been swindled by a broker from Tbong Khmum province.

“They arrived in Malaysia on a tourist visa. They were persuaded to go to the country with promises of high-paying jobs by a broker from Tbong Khmum. Unfortunately, they do not know the name of the broker, but they do have a photograph of him,” The Hoya said.

He explained that the family, after not being paid for months, reached out to a Malaysia-based Cambodian migrant-assistance organisation, which in turn sought Central’s help.

“The family got in touch with the Cambodian Migrant Workers Network, who asked us to help rescue them and help them return to Cambodia. We went to the victims’ families in Preah Vihear, helped them write out a letter seeking government assistance and submitted it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who then contacted the embassy in Malaysia. During this two-month period the family was living in the embassy before they were returned home,” The Hoya said.

He added that the NGO will continue to assist the family.

“We will help the victims to file a complaint at the National Anti-Human Trafficking Committee, and the committee will search for the suspect – but it’s difficult as they don’t have the name or identity of the suspect. Central will provide legal aid and a lawyer,” The Hoya said.

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