The FED Kawthaung Migrant Centre, supported by ILO, receives recognition for assisting returning migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic

Below post featured on ILO in Myanmar – 07 August 2020

The Kawthaung Migrant Centre run by the Foundation for Education and Development is the second of the Migrant Centres supported by the ILO to receive the Honorary Record from the National League of Volunteers, chaired by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

YANGON (ILO News) – On July 27th 2020, the Chief Minister of Tanintharyi Region, U Myint Maung, presented U Moe Wai of the Foundation for Education and Development with the certificate of appreciation of the contribution of the Migrant Centre to the prevention of the spread of Covid-19. Since migrants began returning to Myanmar because of the pandemic, the Migrant Centre has coordinated with local authorities in Kawthaung to protect migrant workers, especially fishers and deportees, from Covid-19 and has supported their safe and dignified return. The Myawaddy Migrant Centre run by Samaritan’s Purse was also recognised by the National League of Volunteers last month.

Centres supported by ILO across Myanmar usually provide information to aspiring migrants to enable them to make informed decisions about migration as well as assisting migrants in accessing justice in cases of grievance. Since late March an estimated 150,000 migrants have returned to Myanmar after losing their incomes in countries of destination. The Centres in Labour Exchange offices (Taungyi, Mandalay region, Dawei) and those run by labour and civil society organisations (Tachilek, Myawaddy, Kengtung, Bago, Yangon) coordinated to provide PPE to frontline service providers and care packages and psychological support to returning migrants. In total the Centres have reached 106,177 returning migrants and frontline service providers (45,905 women and 60,272 men) at border entry points and at quarantine facilities in the migrants’ home towns.

“The ILO congratulates the Foundation for Education and Development and Samaritan’s Purse and all the Centres for their hard work in responding to the needs of returning migrants. I’d also like to thank LIFT and DFAT for their continued support to the ILO migration projects” said Mr Donglin Li, Liaison officer, ILO Myanmar, “Now the longer term work starts. Key to successful reintegration of returning migrants is access to social protection as well as recognition and utilisation of the skills that migrants have brought back with them.” Michelle Leighton of ILO’s Labour Migration Department, Geneva notes, “With the right policies the return of these workers can be converted into a resource for recovery.”