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Cambodia: Domestic workers seek to tidy up industry

Cambodia: Domestic workers seek to tidy up industry

by IDWFED published Sep 13, 2014 12:00 AM
Contributors: Chelsea Chapman and Vandy Muong
Cambodia's house cleaners union is pushing to bring in a minimum wage and better conditions for the country’s domestic workers.




It took domestic worker Chay Sominea, 31, about a year and a half before she summoned the courage to ask her employer for two days off per month.

"I was not brave to negotiate with the owner to have workers' rights" she said. She works 14 hours a day for $120 a month.

Low wages, long hours and unfair treatment continue to plague domestic workers in the Kingdom, say campaigners who are leading the push for change in the industry.

But as stories continue to emerge of abuse and abysmal treatment of those who migrate to countries like Malaysia and Singapore, the thousands employed in the sector face a difficult choice.

Photo: The Phnom Penh Post (Screen Capture)

For Sor Kim Loun, one of more than 240,000 domestic workers based in Cambodia, the Kingdom is a preferable option. But until recently, she worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, for just $50 per month. Travelling nearly two hours a day for work,
Loun struggled to support her five children on approximately $2 a day.

Although she worked Saturdays, she did not get paid for it. The owner was normally absent that day, and routinely denied that she had worked, she said.

She eventually joined the Cambodian Domestic Worker Network (CDWN), an education and advocacy group formed in 2012, and now earns $120 a month.

Read the original article in full: Domestic workers seek to tidy up industry | The Phnom Penh Post

Source: Chelsea Chapman and Vandy Muong/Phnom Phen Post

Story Type: News

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