Migrant domestic workers suffer serious abuse (2012)

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), 40,000 to 50,000 Cambodian women and girls have been recruited to work as domestic labour in Malaysia since 2008. Recruitment agents often forge identity documents for children, offer cash and food as “loans”, leaving migrants heavily indebted, and keep recruits in training centres in Cambodia for months on end. Those trying to escape face various forms of intimidation. Access to health care and nutrition are appalling in most of these centres. HRW also reports that three women recruits died while confined in such centres during 2011 and that the authorities failed to conduct thorough investigations into their deaths or to hold anyone accountable. In October, the government did, however, announce a provisional ban on sending domestic workers to Malaysia.

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