Published: Nov. 12, 2011 at 7:00 PM
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Human rights activists say more action is necessary to stop the trafficking of maids from Cambodia to Malaysia.
Cambodian Member of Parliament Mu Sochua said a recently enacted law banning the practice of sending domestic workers to Malaysia, essentially trapping them into debt-bondage, has not stopped companies from recruiting, training and sending women to Malaysia, CNN reported Friday.
Many Cambodian maids were recruited by labor agencies promising them more money to work in Malaysia. Once they got there, they were forced to hand over their passports and put in situations much like indentured servitude, said Manfred Hornung, a legal adviser for Licadho, a Cambodian rights group.
Just a few days after CNN reported the conditions of these women in October, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen signed a law banning the practice.
CNN's story has awakened the whole country to the human trafficking issue, Sochua said. "I have to say that this piece is just one little part of the whole problem, which is much worse," Sochua said.
The lawmaker added the country's ministries of labor and interior "are not taking any action, noting "many officials and familial members of some ministers actually own these dubious agencies."
Licadho claims that three days after the bill was signed into law Oct. 15, 25 Cambodian maids, wearing shirts with the name of a recruiting agency on them, checked in for a flight heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"It is a heartbreaking story," said Sochua. "I constantly meet with many parents who come to tell me that they don't know where their girls are, they simply disappeared and lost contacts with families after girls left to Malaysia."
The trafficking of women, often young girls, for sexual exploitation and the abuse of sex workers is also rampant in Cambodia, despite the country passing a law in 2009 meant to protect sex workers, CNN reported.
HOST AN EVENT ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Helping victims of human trafficking is as simple as talking to a friend. Host an event and invite the community to discuss the exploitation of human beings. At this campaign, we are eager to spread the word and we'd like to talk at any community event about human trafficking and victim identification.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
-Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 -- Complete Report (PDF)
-Introductory Material (PDF)
-Country Narratives: A-C (PDF)
-Country Narratives: D-I (PDF)
-Country Narratives: J-M (PDF)
-Country Narratives: N-S (PDF)
-Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case (PDF)
-Relevant International Conventions/Closing Material (PDF)
These are some of the things you can do to help fight human trafficking:
Be informed! Educate yourself about human trafficking by reading about it. Follow events in the news. Keep your eyes open - human trafficking is happening all around us.
Raise awareness! Talk to friends, family and colleagues. You could even start talking to your local politicians and authorities.
Get involved! Participate in an anti-trafficking movement in your area and get involved in its activities and campaigns (e.g. hold events, distribute posters, leaflets etc.) in your neighborhood and in schools.
Encourage businesses! Be a responsible consumer! Inform yourself on the labour policies of companies to ensure their products are free from slave labour and other forms of exploitation. If possible, buy fair trade products.
Seek support! If you suspect that someone has been trafficked report it to the institutions or assistance facilities dealing with human trafficking in your area.
"It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. I’m talking about the injustice, the outrage, of human trafficking, which must be called by its true name -- modern slavery."
– President Barack OBAMA