Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Workers seek recruiter fees

Workers seek recruiter fees

Workers seek recruiter fees

Kan Sichan was desperate to work in Japan, so much so that she borrowed $400 to pay a recruitment agency to send her there. But, months later, her dream still hasn’t materialised.

Sichan is one of 201 people that have filed a complaint with local rights group Adhoc in recent months over lost money paid to recruitment firms, including Rice Natural, which had promised well-paid jobs in agriculture and construction.

Many sold land and properties to afford the fee, while others took out high-interest loans.

Sichan, aged 28, said she was expecting to start work last month.

She said she wanted to pay for Rice Natural’s services, “because I know other workers who have been working in Japan through this company for two years and it’s well paid”.

But when she went to visit the agency’s office in Kampong Chhnang province in February, there was no longer any company logo on the building, and it seemed no one was there.

“Now, we have nothing; no job or money, and we have also paid for travel to Phnom Penh to seek compensation from the company responsible. Life is more difficult now,” she said.

At a press conference at Adhoc’s offices in Phnom Penh yesterday, others echoed Sichan’s complaints.

“I once went to Japan for a week and saw how progressive their country is. I heard about the recruitment firm, so I applied for a job; I didn’t think I would be cheated,” said 28-year-old Vay Thareach.

On April 10, Labour Minister Ith Sam Heng wrote a letter to Rice Natural after receiving complaints from 282 workers between February and April.

In the letter, the minister ordered the company to suspend recruitment for 45 days until a deal was reached with the workers.

But according to Adhoc, “to this day there has been neither an agreement reached nor have the migrant workers been paid back their money”.

Adhoc yesterday urged the Ministry of Labour to force recruitment agencies to pay victims, “without delay”, and for arrest warrants to be issued against those who have committed fraud.

A representative of the Labour Ministry could not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Twenty years after Pol Pot died a broken man, his memory looms large

    Two decades have passed, but Mea Chron still stands by Pol Pot. Most days he also stands by the mass murderer’s cremation site, keeping guard in the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold of Anlong Veng. Pol Pot, the widely reviled despot who spearheaded the

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • ‘Trouble’ foreseen in Khmer New Year almanac

    At 9:12am on Saturday, Cambodia’s devout can expect the arrival of Moha Thorathevey, an angel on a peacock holding a trident in one hand and an auspicious serrated wheel in the other. The angel, who has a liking for water hyacinths, will usher in

  • Our 2018 guide to spending Khmer New Year in Phnom Penh

    Khmer New Year festivities are upon us. For the next few days, travellers will be making their way to their home provinces to eat, celebrate, play traditional games and visit a pagoda with offerings. If you will be staying put in Phnom Penh for the