Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW) is a Cambodian non-governmental organisation, based in Phnom Penh. It was founded by Ms Vichuta Ly in 2002. Initially set up to build the capacity of lawyers and organizational staff in legal aid provision, LSCW has become one of the foremost providers of free legal advice to women and children victims of crime and victims of human trafficking in Cambodia.
Celebrate International Domestic Workers Day by recognizing that domestic work is work
16 June is International Domestic Workers Day. The purpose of the day is to recognize the plight of domestic workers in terms of labor protections. In Cambodia, domestic workers have been excluded from the protection of labor laws, despite the great contributions they make to the home and national economy.
In recognition of International Domestic Workers Day, LSCW has released a set of recommendations for the government of Cambodia and general public in order to ensure that domestic workers are able to enjoy decent working conditions.
International Day of Action for Women's Health, 28 May 2015
In commemoration of 28 May, the International Day of Action for Women's Health, the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is launching a report, which LSCW proudly supports, on migrant women and how they take care of their health. Since 1987, the International Day of Action for Women's health has been commemorated by women's and health groups around the world. It is an occasion to celebrate the gains for women's health and remind our governments of women's health rights.
Celebrate May Day by recognizing that domestic work is work
May Day is recognized worldwide as International Labor Day. In Cambodia, most workers are able to celebrate International Labor Day, however for domestic workers the day symbolizes their plight for labor protections. In Cambodia, domestic workers have been excluded from the protection of Labor laws, despite the great contributions they make to the home and national economy.
In recognition of this May Day, LSCW has released a set of recommendations for the government of Cambodia and general public in order to ensure that domestic workers are able to enjoy decent working conditions.
See the recommendations here.
Read our report written in partnership with the Cambodian Working Group for Domestic Workers here.
Giant Ocean Case Verdict Upheld, April 2015
The Cambodian Court of Appeal confirmed on Wednesday the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against the former general manager of Giant Ocean International Fisher Co. Lin Li-Chen was found guilty under Article 10 of the 2008 Law on Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation: "the unlawful removal with purpose." She was sentenced to ten years imprisonment and ordered to pay a total of 128 victims' unpaid wages and damages.
The victims and family members present at court were happy and relieved. The journey to justice has been a long and hard one. One woman's son died after escaping the fishing boat, another woman's husband, traumatized by the experience, left the house one day and never came back. Another woman's grandson was badly wounded on his head and one victim has permanent damage from a broken wrist. After the physical and emotional suffering, everyone experienced yesterday's as a light of hope.
The process is not yet finished, however. The victims are still not able to receive the compensation awarded to them by the court and Lin has one month to file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
But for now, we can celebrate. A mother of a victim said: "if the judge had changed the result and let the perpetrator out of prison, half of me would have died."
CTIP, through LSCW, has provided court representation to 108 victims and will continue to fight for justice to be served, while supporting the victims in their new life paths.
Labour Dimensions of Trafficking in Person in the ASEAN Region
The Department of Justice of the Philippines organized a conference on the Labour Dimensions of Trafficking in Persons in the ASEAN Region from 27-29 January in Manila, Philippines. LSCW’s program manager, Sokchar Mom was invited to speak as a panel member discussing “practices in recruitment and workplace situations and their links to trafficking in persons for labour exploitation.” Mr Mom shared the case study of Giant Ocean International Fishery Co Ltd. This case is the first to prosecute a legal private recruitment agency under trafficking law, not only in Cambodia, but in the entire ASEAN region. Lin Yu-Shin, who ran Giant Ocean was charged the law on the suppression of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, which was adopted in 2008 in Cambodia. With nearly 170 complaints, Yu-Shin has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The conference, which was supported by the ILO-ASEAN Triangle Project and AATIP aimed to enhance understanding of the labour dimensions of trafficking, migration, and the criminal justice elements of labour trafficking, enhance cross-sectoral collaboration, build capacity among various stakeholders to ensure effective responses to labour exploitation and trafficking in persons, and develop strategies to address labour migration management and trafficking within the ASEAN region.
For more information on the Giant Ocean case, please explore our involvement in the CTIP II program.
Fishermen return home
On 16 January 2015, the CTIP II program repatriated 13 fishermen who had worked for several months on a fishing vessel in Malaysia without getting all their promised salary. When informed about their situation, CTIP II's local partner Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW) contacted the men who were still on board and identified them as victims of human trafficking. They then informed the Cambodian Embassy in Malaysia and the Malaysian NGO Tenaganita to organize their rescue. Patronage of Refugee sheltered the men in Malaysia. After the men reached the Cambodian Embassy, LSCW helped them come back to Cambodia by buying air tickets for them, providing accommodation in Phnom Penh, and sending them directly to the Embassy to file a complaint with the Anti-Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department. The CTIP II program will now continue to support the men and their families. LSCW will interview all victims once they are back in their communities, explain hem their rights and investigate the case if the fishermen decide to file a complaint. For more information see here.
China Brides - I take you to be my wife to hold, from this day forward, not for better but only for worse (February 2015)
Y.S.K., an 18 year-old girl, comes from a poor family of Kampong Cham, Eastern Cambodia. One day, a broker managed to convince her to marry a Chinese man and to live in China. She thought that this plan might give her the chance to enhance the future prospects of her entire family.
Far from it. The broker confiscated her passport and locked her in a house in China. A few days later, the broker welcomed Chinese men who chose their wife amongst Y.S.K. and five other Cambodian girls in the same situation. Threatened to be killed, Y.S.K. had no choice but following and marrying the man.
For eight months, she lived a hard life, beaten and sexually abuse several times a day. After three unsuccessful attempts to escape, she finally managed to get free from her husband’s claws. Unfortunately, the Chinese police arrested her because she had no legal documents. She was detained four months in prison before she was finally repatriated to Cambodia.
Y.S.K. is only one example of the numerous young Cambodian women facing this difficult situation. In fact, this recent human trafficking trend is increasing: over 2,000 Cambodian brides have reportedly been registered in Jiangxi Province, Southeastern China, since 2011. Moreover, handling trafficking cases in China is difficult: the cooperation from the Cambodian Consulate and Embassy there is limited, the Chinese police sometimes does not offer any help and there is no further support offered to victims such as shelter, accommodation or food. Willing to help these women moving on, USAID-funded Counter Trafficking in Persons CTIP II program offers them legal assistance.
Once Y.S.K. arrived in Cambodia, a local NGO referred her to CTIP II's partner LSCW.LSCW helped the victim file a case. The victim's broker has also now been arrested. See the USAID report here.
Update on Renewing Stay/Work Permits at One-Stop Service Centres in Thailand - June 2015
Issue #27 of the IOM Migrant Information Note released in June 2015 details the procedures for migrant workers to stay and work with their dependents in Thailand through One-Stop Service Centres (OSSCs). Migrant workers and dependents who had their permit expire on 31 March 2015 have until 30 June to report to their employer or representative to apply for a new permit.
Migrant workers in the fishing industry also have to register for a work permit, whether previously registered or not, and undergo a health examination by 29 June 2015.
The Information Note lists the required documents for both groups registering for work permits, as well as the costs of registration and the locations of the OSSCs.
Cabinet Resolution on Extension of the Timeframe for Nationality Verification for Migrant Workers - April 2015
Issue #26 of the IOM Migrant Information Note released in April 2015 relays important information regarding the Cabinet Resolutions on the extension of the Nationality Verification (NV) process for migrant workers in Thailand. On 3 March 2015, the Cabinet approved the extension timeframe for completion of the NV process and drafted guidelines for the management of migrant workers after 31 March 2015. The guidelines divide the migrant workers into four groups:
1. those who have completed the NV process by 31 March 2015 and who will therefore be given a visa and work permit valid until 31 March 2016 with permission to continue working the two years after 31 March 2016;
2. those who hold a work permit issued by the One-Stop-Service Centres (OSSC) but have not completed the NV process and who will therefore have until 30 June 2015 to report to an OSSC to apply for a new work permit and will have until 31 March 2016 to complete the NV process;
3. those who do not present themselves to receive a new work permit by 30 June 2015 and will therefore be considered illegal migrants; and
4. dependants of migrant workers under 15 years of age who will be given a new ID card and entitled to live in Thailand provided they report themselves with the migrant workers by 30 June 2015.
The Information Note also details the Ministerial Regulations on the protection of workers in fishing and agricultural sectors. Some of the included regulations provide for minimum age, minimum wage, mandatory rest periods, and overtime wages.
Please see the IOM Migrant Information Note here.
Conference on Gender Based Violence during the Khmer Rouge Regime - January 2015.
Heinrich Böll Stiftung organized a conference on GBV during the Khmer Rouge Regime, LSCW Director and other experts were invited to testify as witnesses/survivors and speak of the regime (January 2015).