Skills training for migrant workers
The UnionAID project in Mae Sot is planning to establish an occupational training centre for Burmese migrant workers over the next year, with the first workshop/classroom being built over the next few months.
Our local project leader, Min Lwin, has recently reported that there is an urgent need for skills training as young Burmese women continue to stream across the border into this Thai border town. He is concerned that, unless these young women get the skills for employment in local factories, their desperate situation can lead them into prostitution or being trafficked to other Asian cities.
Human Rights Watch in a recent report highlighted how vulnerable undocumented migrant workers are to deception by labour brokers who forcibly deliver them to exploitative factories, commercial sex establishments, fishing and domestic service.
But the training centre provides these young women with alternatives. Industrial sewing and knitting machines have already been purchased and a larger phase 2 development will enable the centre to provide skills training to 350 trainees per year.
Phase 2 is dependent upon a grant from the new NZ Aid Sustainable Development Fund.