The Cambodian government has denied any agreement was signed to send women to Qatar to work as domestic workers, an official from the Labour Ministry said this week.
The denial comes after a report late last month by Qatari newspaper Gulf Times – which said an MoU had already been signed between the two countries – according to Labour Ministry Recruitment Department director Fawaz al-Rayis.
Hou Vudthy, deputy director at the Ministry of Labour, said that while Cambodian officials have met with their Qatari counterparts twice, the project is still being studied and nothing has been set in stone.
Qatari officials, however, said that not only was a deal inked, but a monthly wage of $250 set. That minimum wage would be markedly lower than what Cambodian maids make in other foreign countries. In contrast, a new pilot programme that will send Cambodian maids to Singapore in July will pay them about $360 a month.
“There is no legislation prepared,” said Vudthy. “No maids want to work there because of the distance, low salary and cultural differences.”
This is not the first time such a deal has been claimed to be signed. Last year, news website Emirates 24/7 reported that Cambodia had agreed to send maids to Saudi Arabia if welfare conditions could be met – as it turned out, no such deal had been negotiated.