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Thailand – Federation of employment agencies to help migrant workers

22 May 2013

The Federation of Oversea Employment Agencies in Myanmar has moved into Bangkok by opening its first branch office in Thailand. According to local media reports, the move is part of an agenda to support Myanmar migrant workers and their labour rights in the country.

The chairman of the federation, Min Hlaing, said: “We will help Myanmar workers in Thailand to solve their difficulties and problems. We will serve 24 hours a day, and our services will not be limited to documented workers. We will help undocumented workers, too.”

The federation is planning to open further offices in Asia where most Myanmar workers can be found. This includes Malaysia with the federation expecting to open another office by the end of July this year.

Thailand holds the largest number of Myanmar migrant workers. According to official statistics by the local labour ministry, about 80% of migrant workers in Thailand are from Myanmar, which accounts for around two million workers.

These migrant workers tend to find low-paying jobs in Thailand, typically in the construction or fishing industries. Many do not hold work permits as the process for obtaining a permit is considered complicated and expensive.

Migrant workers have repeatedly called for improved working conditions. At the start of May, thousands of Myanmar migrant workers took part in Labour Day demonstrations, calling for better work conditions and basic labour rights, including healthcare. 

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