Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Maid MoU drawing near

Maid MoU drawing near

Maid MoU drawing near

Cambodia and Malaysia expect to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) by the end of the year that would reopen the pipeline of local maids being sent to work there, officials said on the sidelines of a final round of discussions yesterday between the countries.

“This is the final discussion, and we may finish later this year. So His Excellency Minister [Ith Sam Heng] will sign [the agreement] in Malaysia at that time,” said Choub Narat, deputy director-general at the Labour Department of the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.

“When the MoU is signed by the two governments, it means [there will be] a legal document to protect [Cambodian maids],” he added. Working conditions “will be better, meaning that they are protected by the law”.

Cambodia placed a moratorium on sending new domestic workers to Malaysia in October 2011 after a raft of rights abuses emerged, including sexual abuse and salary withholding.

According to Malaysian government data, there are currently 13,245 Cambodian workers in Malaysia, including 7,796 maids.

Sok Chanpheakdey, the director-general of recruiter Philimore Cambodia, said Cambodian workers had been migrating to Malaysia since the late 1990s.

Before the ban, Philimore, which itself has been accused in the past of rights abuses, was recruiting 100 to 150 maids a year, Chanpheakdey said.

He added that maids were still travelling to work in Malaysia despite the ban, visiting as “tourists”.

“[Working conditions] will be much better than in the past when the MoU is complete,” he said. “In the past, we didn’t have any government-to-government agreement.”

But Ya Navuth, executive director of CARAM, an NGO that works with migrant workers, was less confident the MoU signing would automatically lead to better working conditions.

“The implementation of MoUs that we have already has so far been very poor,” he said, citing Thailand as an example.

“We need to be sure that the MoU agreement is implemented properly.”

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Gov’t slams UN rapporteurs over Sokha trial statement

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the UN Office in Geneva deplored the statement of three UN special rapporteurs who claimed that Kem Sokha’s trial was “tainted” due to irregularities. The reaction