Cambodia’s law leaves domestic workers unseen and unprotected

It has been ten years since Cambodia first imposed a ban on sending Khmer domestic workers to Malaysia following dozens of reports of abuse by Malaysian employers, including overwork, sexual harassment and verbal and physical assault. 

Since then, the Cambodian government has taken several steps to ensure the safety of domestic workers abroad. These include adopting Sub-Decree 190, which regulates recruitment agencies and provides complaint mechanisms to protect workers from exploitation, enacting new ministerial regulations and signing Memoranda of Understanding with key receiving countries. 

While these legal protections are crucial to safeguarding the rights of Cambodian domestic workers in other countries, it is difficult to ignore the lack of similar protections for employees in the same industry within Cambodia.

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