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March 02, 2018

Collaborative efforts needed to get lists of undocumented migrant workers

Workers from Myanmar sort fish at a port in the southern province of Pattani, Thailand. Photo: Reuters
Workers from Myanmar sort fish at a port in the southern province of Pattani, Thailand. Photo: Reuters

Pyithu Hluttaw debated a proposal to protect Myanmar migrant workers in foreign countries from exploitation and abuses, following discussion over the proposal at the parliament yesterday.
MPs discussed the proposal which urges the government to effectively help and protect abused and exploited Myanmar migrant workers collaboratively, government to government.
Regarding the discussion, Union Minister for Labour, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe said the ministry is making efforts to create decent job opportunities and to help workers at home and abroad receive basic rights and safety in their migration.
During a session of Pyithu Hluttaw yesterday, he also called for participation of every citizen to help in the government’s efforts to compile a list of illegal Myanmar migrant workers in foreign countries.
The Union minister also explained the government’s prioritised measures for protection and promotion of the rights and skills of workers at home and abroad.
Labour attachés have been appointed in Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Thailand to enable Myanmar migrant workers to enjoy legal protection in host countries, said the Union minister, adding that Myanmar Embassies in the countries with no labour attaché have looked after them.
The ministry formed the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation and supervised the signing of a code of conduct by the agencies, said the Union minister.
The Union minister went on to say that punitive measures were taken against 20 agencies, including termination and suspension of licenses.
The government issued documents to undocumented Myanmar workers in Thailand and Malaysia to be able to work legally there following coordination between the countries, added the Union minister.
A specific law for the protection of migrants should be adopted in Myanmar as there are still exploitations by the agents even though MoUs are signed between the government and overseas employment agencies, said Htwe Htwe Thein, director of the Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) at the workshop in Yangon.
It is estimated that about 4 million Myanmar migrants work in Thailand, which is the most popular destination for Myanmar migrants workers followed by Malaysia, Singapore, Korea and Japan.
Because of a shortage of job opportunities, people move to urban or overseas to work. The numbers of migrants who work overseas outnumber those who migrate internally, the Director of CTUM added.
During the yesterday’s Pyithu Hluttaw session, the Myanmar Investment Bill was also approved.—Myanmar News Agency


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