April News Summary

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]


  • Since mid-March, 20 villages in Shan State’s Pindaya and Kalaw townships are facing water shortages due to dried up wells and reservoirs.[iv]


  • More than 50,000 migrants from Myanmar working in Thailand returned home via the Mae Sot-Myawaddy Friendship Bridge after April 5th for the Thingyan holidays.[v]
  • In April, the Thai government announced that all workers with certificates of identity (CI) and passports issued by the Myanmar government have 15 days to apply for their work permits after securing their Thai visas. The result of failing to do so is deportation.[vi]
  • The Aid Alliance Committee (AAC) and Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation in Thailand have asked the government to give Myanmar workers 60 days to apply for their work permits, saying the current 15-day period is too short for them to apply after obtaining their visa from Thai authorities.[vii]
  • 37 Cambodian men, 23 women and 5 children were found by Thai police after having been locked up in a house for three days by people claiming to be job brokers. The migrants said they paid the purported brokers $2,500 baht each with the promise of travel to and work in Bangkok and Samut Prakan.[viii]
  • 10,000 community workers in 9 refugee camps on the Thai-Myanmar border will be affected by financial cuts as funding declines. Reduced stipends for camp community workers in positions such as camp committee leaders and coordinators, health workers, teachers, warehouse managers and security staff will begin in July due to a shrinking budget.[ix]

All Rights Reserved, MAP Foundation

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