Roots of migration.

  • The second round of the “21st Century Panglong” talks between local armies and the Myanmar military government are to be held for five days starting on May 24th. An ethnic negotiator said that the local armies are more in favor of laying out a basic agreement on a federal system, although the military government seems hesitant to do so.[i]
  • Palm oil plantations in southern Myanmar, used primarily for cooking oil sold within the country are dependent on laborers from all over Myanmar. Major palm oil, real estate, construction, and agriculture companies like Supowin, Dagon Timber, and Yuzana in Myanmar have a history of withholding wages, resulting the exploitation of workers caught in a cycle of debt and bondage. Agents working on behalf of Thailand’s fishing or construction industries often recruit workers from these palm oil plantations, promising better pay and conditions.[ii]
  • 23 organizations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Fortify Rights signed a letter calling on overseas governments to pressure Myanmar into allowing the UN total access to the country in its investigation of human rights abuses by authorities in Arakan, Kachin, and Shan states.[iii]

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May 1 of every year is "International Labor Day," a day in which workers around the world commemorate the struggle for fairness in the workplace. It is a day that recognizes and acknowledges the importance of people working in all types of jobs and careers, and the right to work as a human being with dignity equal to that of other peoples. It is a day to emphasize that workers are an important part of driving the economy forward and equitably with other countries.

Roots of migration.

  • The International Organization on Migration (IOM) and the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP) have launched a project called Twe Let—“Increasing the Developmental Impact of Labour Migration through Strengthened Governance and Partnership.” The project will purportedly seek policy and community level partnerships to increase the developmental role of migration, supporting the country’s development priorities by mainstreaming migration into national and local sectoral development planning.[i]

It’s boiling hot on a sweltering Wednesday afternoon in Chiang Mai, but I have chills.

I’m at the International Women’s Day March, where more than 150 people have gathered to march the perimeter of Chiang Mai’s Old City in a demonstration for women’s rights, and it’s a powerful sight. The crowd that has gathered today is comprised of women from all walks of life and allies who’ve shown up to support the movement.

A majority of the marchers don white T-shirts emblazoned with “Women Own the Change,” a slogan repeated in the chants that ring out through the crowd. Leaders cry out, “Who makes the world?” The resounding response is, “Girls, girls!” “Who makes the change?” “Girls, girls!”

February News Summary

Roots of migration.

·         In response to the Myanmar government’s decision to give 53 Muslims official identification cards, around 600 people in Rakhine state held a protest, claiming the decision was illegal and that local people should be part of any government review of Muslim people given official identity cards.[i]

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