An eight-point agreement on protection and welfare of migrant domestic workers has been agreed by the governments of Cambodia and Malaysia’s foreign maids agency amid predictions that 20,000 workers will find work in Malaysia.
These include checks on the qualifications and history of employers in accordance with Malaysian regulations.
Cambodia’s migrant workers’ database and employers’ data will be managed from the beginning of registration. Contracts will apply until repatriation.
A mechanism will be set up to visit workplaces every quarter by both countries’ agencies to assure that workers enjoy good welfare and legal protection.
There will be training and provision of a phone for maids to communicate with their families and Cambodian authorities.
Insurance for work accidents will be organised, with health insurance for workers before they start their job.
The agreement covers provision of training before workers leave Cambodia and after they arrive in Malaysia.
The final point covers advice to recruitment agencies in both countries to respect and follow the local regulations.
The agreement was signed by the Cambodian Labour Ministry and the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies.
About 300 workers are expected to leave for Malaysia in March.
According to Malaysia’s Sun Daily newspaper there are plans to bring in about 20,000 Cambodian domestic workers a year starting next year because Malaysia has a big shortage of maids.
“Although there are on-going issues, we will try to manage and improve the foreign domestic worker industry in Malaysia,” Jeffrey Foo, president of the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies, said.
In 2011, the Cambodian government imposed a moratorium on its citizens working as domestic helpers in Malaysia due to reports of abuse by employers.