Migrant Workers in Mae Sot, Thailand

Burmese migrant workers in Thailand

Every year thousands of people migrate from Myanmar to Thailand in search of work, safety or a better life free of poverty.  Many of those migrating are women who can be vulnerable to exploitation in Thailand.  UnionAID funds an occupational training centre run by the Confederated Trade Unions of Myanmar (CTUM) in Mae Sot on the Myanmar- Thai border.  The training centre provides between 200 and 350 migrant women each year with sewing training and support into safer employment in Thailand.  The training includes learning about labour rights in Thailand and how to organise so workers have a chance to move beyond poverty and have a stronger voice in their dealings with local employers.

The CTUM was formed by Myanmar workers, who with their families, have fled the military regime in Burma by crossing the border into Thailand. Since the ban on trade unions in Myanamr was lifted in 2011 the CTUM has been able to work within the country for the first time and union membership is growing strongly.

UnionAID posts on migrant workers in Thailand:

  • Safer at sea?

    Seafarers at work

    Conditions at sea for Myanmar seafarers are often dangerous , but our project partner, the Myanmar Maritime Workers Federation (MMWF) has taken a pragmatic approach and, among other things, have ...

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  • Making a difference in Myanmar

    Chin farmers learn sustinable argiculture skills from 2010 alumni Betty Ram Nawn (Back row 3rd from left)

    Five 2014 alumni have been assisted by UnionAID to carry out small field work projects in Myanmar this year: these are Do No Harm training for staff from five NGOs ...

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  • Myanmar railway workers gain traction

    Yangon Circular Railway

    Under a new project, union organising activities will be extended to all parts of the railway system in Myanmar, from Kachin State in the north to Mon State in the ...

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  • Refugees from Mae Lar camp to get skills training

    In a surprise move, refugees remaining in camps on the Thai-Myanmar border are now to be permitted to go into Mae Sot to get training or work. Our project partner, Htwe ...

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  • Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP) Information for Candidates

    Taupo trip 2012 107

    Myanmar Young Leaders Programme (MYLP) Information for Candidates Draft Prospectus 2014 What is the Myanmar Young Leaders Programme purpose? The programme was developed by the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, is managed by ...

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  • Snippets

    UnionAID logo

    Promising project with nurses from northern Thailand Nurses from an area of northern Thailand have requested some help to address industrial issues. They are members of the Nursing Union of Thailand ...

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  • New projects to start in the New Year

    The ancient Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, a popular tourist site

    UnionAID is delighted that, after some time seeking a suitable project partner in the Pacific, we are planning a project to assist low wage workers with the National Union of ...

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  • Promoting ethical tourism in Myanmar

    Tourists in a hot air balloon drift at sunset over the pagodas of Bagan

    Myanmar is universally hailed as a friendly and unspoilt tourist destination. If this reputation is to be preserved, however, the tourism industry cannot be allowed to exploit the workers who, ...

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  • Myanmar military legacy lingers for railway workers

    Executive members of the Insein union with (back row): Min Lwin, UnionAID project manager (2nd from left); Howard Phillips, vice president of RMTU (3rd from left) and Wayne Butson (right)

    In spite of moves towards democracy in Myanmar since 2011, the legacy of the military regime still lingers on, as Wayne Butson, General Secretary of the New Zealand Rail and ...

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  • Regulating for Decent Work in Burma

    UnionAID logo

    Ross Wilson After 50 years of suppression of fundamental labour rights in Burma, and under pressure from the international trade union movement through the International Labour Organisation, the new elected Myanmar ...

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