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20 Apr 2024

Ly Rosslan & Pou Soreachny, CamboJA

Cambodia: 78 migrant workers rescued after posting a video detailing involuntary overwork without enough food in Saudi Arabia

See all tags Allegations

"Cambodia Flies Home 78 Cambodians Subjected to Long Work Hours, No Meals in Saudi Arabia", 20 April 2024

The Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, in cooperation with the Cambodian embassy in Egypt, rescued and is in the process of repatriating 78 people who were allegedly forced to work long hours and with little food in Saudi Arabia.

One of the victims, who posted a video on a Facebook account belonging to Ry Single …, shared that their employment contract with Cambodian firm Fatina Manpower Co Ltd required them to do cleaning work as a group for eight hours in the Middle East country. They would be paid a monthly salary of 1,500 riyal ($400).

But, in reality they worked for more than 16 hours a day and did not get enough food, which was contrary to what the company promised in the contract.

“In a week, we only received three meals. Some people only got bread while others didn’t receive any food for five days,” the victim said, adding that they had no energy left to work. So, they appealed to Prime Minister Hun Manet and the authorities to help them return to Cambodia…

Initial attempts … to contact Fatina Manpower via Facebook and the phone were futile. They later responded that official information will be given by the labor ministry and to wait for that.

According to labor ministry spokesperson Kata Orn, joint efforts were made with the Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry and the Cambodian embassy in Egypt (which covers Saudi Arabia) to locate the workers and arrange flights for them to come home…

Am Sam Ath, operations director of rights group Licadho, told … that the government must review the protection and security of migrant workers, regardless of their legal status…