Six Cambodian domestic workers were repatriated yesterday after spending three months in Malaysia where they were promised work by a broker but given only tourist visas.
Lim Mony, deputy head of women’s and children’s rights at local NGO Adhoc, said the women, who had travelled to Malaysia on May 3, had been staying in a shelter after realising immediately upon arrival that they had only been issued one-month tourist visas.
“Luckily they knew right away that they had been cheated by the broker. If they had worked, it would have been bad for them,” Mony said.
Adhoc cooperated with the Cambodian Embassy and the International Organization for Migration to secure the six women’s return after they appeared as witnesses in a trial against the Chinese-Malaysian broker, who was arrested in the country following their arrival.
Two others who travelled with the group are thought to still be in Malaysia, Mony said.
In 2011, Cambodia placed a moratorium on sending maids to Malaysia amid reports of abuse. A new agreement set to renew the pipeline of workers is currently being discussed.
Ministry of Labour officials could not be reached yesterday.