Morb worked in Thailand irregularly all her life, since early years. Her parents passed away when she was eight years old, leaving seven daughters and one son behind. “We were very poor and my sister could not afford to pay for my education, so I dropped out of school.”

Mrs. Morb Neam

Morb’s Story

Morb Neam, a 37 year-old woman, has been a migrant for a long time. She worked in Thailand irregularly all her life, since early years. Her parents passed away when she was eight years old, leaving seven daughters and one son behind. After the death of her parents, Morb left her village in Banteay Meanchey and moved in with her older sister. “We were very poor and my sister could not afford to pay for my education, so I dropped out of school.”

Morb was only 12 years old when she went to Thailand looking for a seasonal job. On the other side of the border, she worked with her sister in cassava and sugarcane farms, and rice fields. They received only 100 Baht per day (3 USD). Morb and her sister kept working in Thailand – along the border- until Morb turned 15 years old. Shortly after, Morb returned to her village and married a local farmer.

Unfortunately, due to poor harvests and bad weather conditions, the family could not support itself. The husband decided to migrate to Thailand to work as a construction worker and he is still working there. However, as an undocumented migrant he earns 320 Baht per day (9/10 USD) and his work is unstable.

Morb has two children: a son and a daughter. “I could not sustain my son’s education so I took him to Thailand in 2014 where he could work with me as a farmer. At that time he was 15 years old. Being undocumented workers, we were receiving between 220 and 280 Baht per day (7-8 USD)”.

Soon Morb fell sick, could not perform her duties anymore and eventually was fired from work. Without a new job , the mother of two decided to return to Cambodia for treatment, leaving her son with her husband. She stayed at home to take care of her daughter and cultivate her rice paddy field.

Unfortunately, her life was once more influenced by weather conditions: a drought affected her harvest. Moreover, the small quantity of rice she had cultivated had a low market price. Once again, Morb’s only option was to migrate. She thus returned to Thailand in 2016 to work on a construction site.

Her situation soon deteriorated. Morb worked for four months, but she did not receive any salary. She managed to find another job with a new employer, but her husband asked her to come back home. Morb returned to her village in Cambodia to take care of her daughter and in 2016 she joined Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center to become a Social Ambassador of the MIGRA ACTION project. In March 2018, however, her financial situation made her leave her home and she migrated to Thailand again, looking for a better job opportunity.

 

Read more about the situation of Cambodian women migrant workers in Thailand