Burmese migrant workers in Thailand
The oppression of people in Burma, as well as economic hardship, has caused a major migration of people to surrounding countries, particularly along the Thai border. It is estimated that there are more than 2 million Burmese refugees and migrant workers in Thailand.
Migrant workers are effectively bonded to their employers and at risk of rights violations from government authorities. In many cases police, military, immigration officers, and other government officials, threaten, physically harm and extort migrant workers with impunity. They are also especially vulnerable to abusive employers and common crime.
A 2007 ILO report recommended training for “worker-leaders”, focusing on rights under Thai labour law and under ILO conventions. That is exactly what the UnionAID project has been doing.
Human Rights Watch. 2010. From the tiger to the crocodile: Abuse of migrant workers in Thailand. New York: Human Rights Watch.
Robinson, P. 2006. The Mekong challenge: Working day and night: The plight of migrant child workers in Mae Sot, Thailand. Bangkok: International Labour Organisation.