March News Summary

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]

Health.

  • Myanmar has one of the highest malaria infection rates in Southeast Asia. Myanmar’s National Malaria Control Programme reported a 49% drop in annual malaria parasite incidents since 2012, and a drop of 62% in malaria morbidity rates. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), evidence of malaria strains that are resistant to the most powerful antimalarial drugs exist in Tanintharyi and Bago areas, Mon, Kayin, Kayah, and southern Shan states.[ii]

 Education.

  • 280 migrant children were registered with ID cards in Mae Sot as part of a joint project between the Thai Interior Ministry and Education Ministry. The ID cards do not provide citizenship, but allow for migrant children to be recognized and registered by the state. According to one Thai human rights lawyer, 6,000 migrant children have yet to be registered in the five border districts of Tak.[iii]

Labor.

  • The number of undocumented Cambodian workers being deported from Thailand through border checkpoints has doubled. On average about 100-200 undocumented Cambodian workers are deported from Thailand each day, but the three-day period of early April, 500-600 Cambodian worrkers were deported.[iv]
  • On March 12th, over 800 workers at the Gold Prize Canning Company in Mahachai, Thailand protested against the company’s violations of employees rights, demanding that the employer allow them to apply for passports and new ID cards, stop unfair wage cuts, repair toilets, and provide water regularly. The Myanmar embassy, Thai authorities, and the Thai-based Aid Alliance Committee (AAC) were involved in negotiations with the employer.[v]
  • 65 Myanmar workers who had been fired without proper notice by a Thai factory in Bangkok were awarded more than 2,700,000 baht in compensation.[vi]
  • The Thai government announced that Myanmar migrant workers heading home for the holidays in April are eligible for a travel fee waiver beginning on April 5th and ending on April 30th. The waiver applies to migrant workers with temporary passports and work permits.[vii]

 

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