“Before, customers would ask girls working here to go and have sex with them. I would tell the girl to stay safely at the back while I told the customers that they could not do this,” Saingheng explains. “This restaurant is not somewhere for customers to seek sex. It is a family business.”
In an effort to prevent his workers from unwanted advances, Saingheng joined the Non-Violent Workplace Initiative, a Ministry-led initiative which CARE supports.
This provided him with materials to display stating the laws and consequences for assaulting his workers. “Now that I display posters with information about harassment and phone numbers for reporting this, customers know that there will be consequences if they harass workers here,” he says.
Saingheng says that only a small percentage of customers are unhappy with his protection of female staff and that it does not bother him if they choose to eat elsewhere. “I don’t want customers who are going to harass my workers … Women who work for me know what sexual harassment is and they know that I will not accept this happening in my restaurant.”