Letter to the Prime Minister of Cambodia

Kingdom of Cambodia

Nation Religion King

******

Humbly Respected


Samdech Akak  PunheaChakrei Heng Samrin Hun Sen

Prime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia

Thru :
Samdech Akak  PunheaChakrei Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly of Kingdom of Cambodia

Sub. : Request for Samdech Prime Minister examines and take legal actions to ensure safety

for Cambodian female migrant workers.

Ref. : -Sub-Decree No. 190 of the Royal Government of Cambodia, dated 17 August 2011

-Consultation with Samdech Prime Minister at the National Assembly on 14 October 2011.

Respected Samdech Prime Minister,

In the name of parliamentarians, we would like to welcome to the authorities efforts and measures undertaken to crackdown on the office of T & P Recruitment Company based in Kampong Chhnang province on 09 October 2011 with which twenty-seven (27) female recruits, including eleven (11) minors aged between 14 and 17 years old were rescued.

According to our observation and monitoring, we have realized that the situation of migrant workers in the Kingdom of Cambodia has apparently deteriorated which decisively requires highest attention and strictest measures to crack down other recruitment agencies due to the fact that T& P Recruitment Company was not the sole company responsible for such illegal recruitment, human trafficking and child labor exploitation. On 04 October 2011, according to The Cambodia Daily News, Volume 49/90, dated 05 October 2011 and Cable Network News (CNN), the Royal Gendarmerie (royal military police) launched a crackdown operation on the Century (Cambodia) Manpower Co.Ltd.,located in Khan SenSok of Phnom Penh Capital which led to the rescue of twenty-six (26) female recruits, including five (05) minors aged between 13 to 17 years old who were illegally confined against their will.

Evidently, such repeated crackdown events have shown additional evidences which reflectively substantiated and reinforced previous accusations concerning illegal activities being carried out private recruitment agencies in Cambodia. At the same time, accidents and deaths of female migrant workers reportedly occurred in both the Kingdom of Cambodia and Malaysia for which VC Manpower & Cambodian Labor Supply and other recruitment agencies were allegedly implicated in these tragic incidents.

In August 2011, a non-governmental human rights organization helped rescue fifty-four (54) Cambodian female domestic workers in Malaysia who expressed their endurable sufferings and horrific misery as they were subject to harsh physical and sexual abuses, forced labor as well as the removal and confinement of their passports.

In recent years, the recruitment and sending of migrant workers to Malaysia and Thailand has drastically increased, however it has been observed that a supervisory mechanism for sending migrant workers to foreign countries, in particular domestic workers in Malaysia is not strictly controlled. As result of that private recruitment companies failed to uphold employment contractual conditions as agreed upon between them and relevant State institutions. Furthermore, these recruitment companies defied to resolve problems through compromising principles and as such violated provisions of Sub-decree No. 190 of the Royal Government of Cambodia which are negatively affecting interests and violating labor rights of migrant workers as guaranteed by the Law on Labor of Kingdom of Cambodia and other ILO International Conventions on Labor.

It is observed that officials of the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training and Ministry of Interior apparently fail to fulfill their duties and law enforcement mandate to investigate and control activities of recruitment companies which in turn encouraged them to carry out activities bypassing existing laws, for instance, abuses of human rights and labor rights, illegal confinement and labor exploitation through sending out migrant workers to foreign countries. Certain officials were also accused of involving in and receiving personal interests from recruitment agencies.

Whereas the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies has failed to fulfill its mandate and obligations in accordance with the prescribed Statute and Internal Rules in monitoring and supervising activities of its members, therefore it shall be legally liable for its negligence or could be conspired in dishonest act.

As stated above, we would like to request the Royal Government of Cambodia to take effective measures to implement the following recommendations:

– Control private recruitment companies that breached contractual terms with the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, Sub-decree No.190 of the Royal Government of Cambodia as well as other international labor conventions.

– Take legal action against any recruitment companies or competent authorities who have found conspired, without any tolerance.

– Create a commission to draft a memorandum of understanding by guaranteeing employment conditions, including living conditions and recruitment standards for migrant workers, such as type of work, place of work, working hours, salaries, health and workplace insurances and dormitory. The MoU should be similar to that of MoU was signed between the Malaysian government and Indonesian government in June 2011.

– Control recruitment advertisements on all media outlets, in order to avoid fraud and malicious intent.

– Royal embassies of the Kingdom of Cambodia to foreign countries should establish a mechanism to control and inspect workplace of migrant workers, in order to ensure the respect for labor rights, labor conditions, especially welfare and protection of interests, and facilitation to the issuance of new passports in case of loss and extension and other certification documents to migrant workers with free of charge.

– Abolish debt bondage and forced recruitment by guaranteeing the respect for and observance of ILO Convention No. 189 on the Protection and Safety of Workers. It also addresses the issue of costs of documents, of debts, of minimum salary, of working hours and welfare of workers. It is imperative that Cambodia is viewed as a country that is not engaged in debt bondage and of forced recruitment.

– Develop vocational training programme in response to both domestic and international markets so as to compete with ASEAN labor market due in 2015.

We strongly believe that Samdech Prime Minister will take positive and effective measures in realizing stated recommendations so as to improve the implementation of the Law on Labour and other international labour conventions, situations of migrant workers, in particular female workers, in order to value, honor and dignity of Cambodian women who are the backbone of national economy.

Please accept, Samdech Prime Minister, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Phnom Penh, 14 October 2011

Seen and submitted toSamdechAkakMohaSenaBateiTecho Hun SenPrime Minister of Kingdom of Cambodia examinePhnom Penh, October 2011

President of the National Assembly

Copied to:– Ministry of Royal Palace- Ministry of Interior- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

– Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training

– Ministry of Women and Veterans Affairs

– National and International Human Rights Organizations to Cambodia

– Archives

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