Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian appeals to PM for repatriation

Cambodian appeals to PM for repatriation

Cambodian appeals to PM for repatriation

A Cambodian woman who went to Saudi Arabia five years ago to work as a maid has posted a video to her Facebook page pleading for the help of Prime Minister Hun Sen after alleging she has endured years of abuse.

Ken Chantha, 38, also claimed her passport was being held by her employer.

Chantha, from Salakamroek commune in Siem Reap province, said she has worked in four different households over the course of five years, and hadn’t been able to reach the person who sent her to work there. A distraught Chantha pleaded for word to reach Hun Sen.

“Please help me, share this video so that it reaches our prime minister so that I can get help. I don’t know who can help me in Saudi Arabia, so I am appealing to Cambodians to help me,” she said.

Chantha described the hardships she has allegedly endured and the dishonesty of her employers.

“When I worked with the first employer, they beat me regularly and caused one of my legs to break. I was always hungry,” she said.

“After 10 months, they sent me to work with another employer. He told me his wife didn’t have children, so I thought it wouldn’t be so bad. But after seven months this employer sent me to work with his second wife, who has six children, and they only let me eat at 7pm.”

After Chantha’s appeal to her employer about his wife’s abuse was ignored, she threatened to escape and report the matter to the police.

Fearing the law, she said, the husband sent her to a fourth household where her predicament improved.

“But after my contract ended, they refused to let me return to Cambodia. My passport was held by them as well,’’ Chantha said.

Othsman Hassan, the secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour in Phnom Penh and the government point person when a foreign worker seeks help to return home, said: “The government really wants to help and rescue those like Chantha . . . but the problem is, we often don’t get enough detailed information, such as a phone number, address or employer information. So it is very difficult to help because we can’t find them.”

Hassan said that although the Kingdom did not have an embassy in Saudi Arabia, the countries have excellent collaboration between the Saudi and Cambodian ministries of labour. “Both are willing to help rescue workers if we have adequate information.’’

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro