Training Facility for Migrant Workers

Mae Sot, Thailand

UnionAID’s introductory project has been funding a training centre for migrant workers who are crossing the border from Myanmar into Thailand. Since 2009 the Mae Sot training centre has seen over 1100 women through its doors, teaching them valuable work skills and helping them find work with reputable employers. The training includes learning about Thai labour laws, language and culture.

Until 2017 there was no legal avenue for people from Myanmar to migrate to Thailand, although every year tens of thousands of migrants fled military rule, and political unease in search of work, higher wages, safety and freedom from poverty- many of those migrants are women and are vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking.

Every year thousands of people migrate from Myanmar to Thailand in search of work, safety and a life free from 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 150 and 250 migrant women each year with sewing training and support into safer employment in Thailand.  The training includes learning about labour rights in Thailand with the aim to giving migrant workers .

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

UnionAID posts on migrant workers in Thailand:

  • Safer at sea?

    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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  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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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  • Railway workers project on track

    Although unions are registering in Myanmar at a rapid rate (there are now more than 515 unions), most of their leaders are very young and have little knowledge about unions ...

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