Safe Migration Project - SMP
TLDF has started its “Safe Migration (SMP)” in 2018 is a legal rights related project and was supported by Diakonia Thailand Foundation aiming to support legal knowledge regarding migration for people on the move in Myanmar.
The following report is a summary of SMP project activities and its outcomes in 2018.
- The project had organized Information and experience sharing seminar regarding to cross-border migrant workers where total 58 community representatives (9 female and 49 male) from 50 communities have had enthusiastically participated. The participants have an increased knowledge in regards to various forms of risks from labour migration.
- One (1) migrant support network was established in which 25 community members (11 female and 14 male) are joining as volunteers. These volunteers are trained and have sufficient knowledge to give necessary advises and assistance to those interested work forces in their own and surrounding communities.
- Total of 150 trained participants (youth and women: 51 female and 88 male) have an increased knowledge and an understanding on rights violations and exploitation from employers
- One handbook on worker’s rights was produced in ethnic language for self-study to protect oneself from risks and rights violations.
- Community learning centers are available in 8 areas to provide knowledge and advices on labour toward community members.
- Migrant support network divided into 8 small teams to conduct mobile legal clinics in 63 communities as a proactive approach. The mobile legal clinics focused on prevention from rights violations and various forms of labour exploitation.
Story of Change : “Passing on knowledge to Neighbours in the Community”
My name is Na G’eu. I am a member of Venbo Kaw community in Kyaing Tong City, Eastern Shan State of Myanmar. I am Lahu a traditional handicraft producer.
A number of our community members are crossed Myanmar-China border and working in China. Some are crossed Myanmar Thai border and working inside Thailand. Most of them are illegal migrant workers who were moved by themselves while some of them were following to middleman who have assisted them to illegally work there.
Therefore, those illegal migrant workers face may problems such as unfairly paid wages, do not receive medical and health care service from the hospital because they do not have medical insurance under social health care policy. Moreover, they have being afraid of police arrest due to lack of work permit or official certificates for working in Thailand.
The job that most of those cross-border illegal migrant workers are caretakers of local Thai farmers’ orchards or gardens as insecticide and herbicide sprayers which is risky to health issues. For the women workers mostly ended up in Karaoke or restaurants where are risky areas to human trafficking and various forms of abuses and exploitations.
When TLDF project staff from Chiang Mai, Thailand had started their project activities to educate community members about cross-border migrant workers, I would like to join the project and passing the knowledge to my fellow members in our community and surrounding areas. I have confidence to share the knowledge to others because I have some experience as I used to work as radio announcer of Myanmar Government’s Tribal Radio Broadcasting Station based in Pyin Oo Lwin (or May Myo) Resort City in Mandalay Division in Central Myanmar.
In June 2018, I was allow to join in TLDF Cross-border Migrant Support Networking Group as one of 25 volunteers in our community. After I have joined in TLDF project, I was selected to participate in training workshop on “Cross-border Migrant Worker” where I got knowledge on valuable knowledge on Thai government’s labour laws and regulations on cross-border migrant workers as well as self- protection mechanism concerning to human trafficking and various forms of human rights abuses and exploitation.
After coming home in Myanmar from those two training workshops, I have developed and released a serials of educational program through Youtube and Facebook channels in Lahu language which is now become an interested source of educational program to many Lahu villagers, especially to young people who are in the age of work forces.
My previous training and work experience as radio announcer has helped to my current educational program through social media in joining hands with my fellow networking volunteers and TLDF project staff in Myanmar.
I am so happy for being able to participate in this project’s networking voluntary, because I was able to learn new things and could be able to travel to other places where I never been before. More importantly, I was able to learn about Thai government’s law and regulation related to cross-border migrant workers in addition to self-protection mechanism from various forms of human trafficking and exploitation while working abroad.
I am now realized that my participation in this project should be of benefiting to my fellow Lahu young people who are willing to find jobs in our neighboring countries like Thailand and China, not to be violate the laws and regulations of those countries. I will try my best to pass on the knowledge regarding to cross-border migrant workers to be seriously consider about to prepare legalized documentations before they are leaving their own communities. Sharing the knowledge and precautions regarding to the legalized cross-border migrant works through various forms of social medias (such as face book and line) is my duty which to be passing on to the relevant community members that I am loving it.
I felt happy when I heard many times that some community members were saying that, “I am now not afraid to become a victim of various forms of human rights abuses because I was trained and equipped with knowledge and self-protection theniques by TLDF project staff and voluntary networking teams related to cross-border migrant works in other countries”. Therefore, those quotes are always encouraging me to recommit myself to serve others through this project which was initiated by the Thailand Lahu Development Foundation” based in Chiang Mai.