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Former Taiwan Worker Warns of Exploitation

A rights worker and a victim of fraudulent marriage, who traveled to Taiwan and was exposed to danger and hardship, warned other young Cambodian women not to take the risk or fall for promises of lucrative work abroad.

“Do not fall into a trick when people say they will give you a lot of money to work abroad,” said one young woman, as a guest on “Hello VOA” Monday.

The woman, who asked that her identity remain anonymous, said she was forced to work constantly, without rest, and escape was impossible. She was told she would have to pay back all of the money she owed in expenses for her travel, or she would have to call and ask her parents to pay.

“I was afraid they would kidnap my parents for money,” the woman said. “That’s why I continued to work until I was rescued.”

Women who find themselves in trouble in Taiwan have an extra problem, said Ya Navuth executive director of the rights group Caram, because Cambodia’s one-China policy, which does not recognize the island, hampers retrieval efforts.

“But we have our network over there in Taiwan to help us,” he said.

Caram rescued four women in 2008, he said, and he warned Cambodian women not to be fooled into promises of riches for work in Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea and elsewhere.

If a woman feels she is being exploited, she should call the organization’s hotline, he said. The numbers: +855 12 949 914, or +855 12 961 427.