Burmese migrant rights are abused on a daily basis. Whilst most migrants are unaware of their human and labor rights, often they are also too scared to seek help, which is in any case near impossible for them to access due to a lack of legal assistance.
For decades Myanmar nationals of all ethnic backgrounds have migrated to Thailand in search of economic opportunity as a result of political repression, human rights violations, civil war, economic woes, religious persecution and natural disaster in Myanmar. Currently there are 2 million registered Myanmar migrants and an estimated 1 to 3 million more undocumented migrants living and working in Thailand. Thus the Myanmar migrant community is vital to Thailand’s economy as the migrant workforce makes up 10% of the total labor force employed in Thailand.
Employment opportunities are plentiful in Thailand, but come at a cost as the migrant worker is highly vulnerable to rights and trafficking exploitation. This is because migrants generally are only able to obtain low level, hard labor jobs often avoided by Thai citizens and largely ignored by the Thai authorities responsible for regulating these industries. Exploitation takes the form of unsafe workplaces, pay less than minimum wage; if received at all, employers seizing migrant legal documents to gain control over the migrant worker, long working hours, as well as physical and mental abuses. The migrants’ lack of understanding regarding their entitled rights and the fear to demand rights recognition leads to countless violations receiving no legal attention or justice.
FED recognizes that it is not enough to simply work to change the hearts and minds of employers and government policy makers. Until migrants own and manage their own systems of protection and welfare they will not be able to demand justice and change for themselves and will either leave rights abuses to go unreported and unpunished.
FED’s Migrant Development program targets different segments of migrant communities; women, youth, community leaders, and community activists amongst others. The Program activities engage and empower migrant communities to lead and organize themselves effectively taking responsibility in the accomplishment of justice and social inclusion for them and their communities by raising awareness of their rights with a significantly increased utilization of the legal system to protect those rights. In addition, FED strives to raise the awareness of Thai civil society regarding the situation faced by Burmese migrants in Thailand for the purpose of cultivating a peaceful society in Thailand and a unified civil society promoting human rights, for Burmese migrants in Thailand.
Death Penalty Upholds For Koh Tao Murders The Appeals Court on Wednesday announced its decision to uphold the death sentences for the two Burmese migrant workers, Zaw Lin and Wai Phyo, convicted of murdering Hannah [...]
Myanmar and Thailand implement CI "Certificate of Identity"; another attempt to identify Burmese migrants. An explanation on the CI "Certificate of Identity" from the Labor Attache U Moe Aung Khaing from Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok [...]