Migrant Workers Legal Assistance and Quality of Life Development Project-MWLA
The economy of Thailand has changed dramatically in the last two decades. Many Thai labourers who previously worked within the borders of Thailand have left their home country to find employment in Taiwan, Brunei, Korea, Japan and Middle Eastern countries. During this same period, the economies of neighbouring countries have been weaker than that in Thailand resulting in a migration of significant numbers of migrant workers seeking better jobs and lives for their families within Thailand. There are an estimated 2 million migrant workers throughout Thailand, of which approximately 25,000 reside in Chiang Rai and Phayao provinces. Many of these do not have legal status making them attractive to Thai employers who are able to take advantage of their situation by paying them lower wages and forcing them to work in more difficult circumstances than would be required of Thai labourers.
Despite recent signs of positive change within Myanmar, it is anticipated that the back-and-forth migration of labourers between Thailand and Myanmar will continue to result in significant and consistent numbers of migrant labourers in northern Thailand – the majority of them finding employment in the fields of construction, agriculture, food services, or domestic help. Common abuses and risk factors associated with the situation of migrant workers in Thailand include the following: very low wages, long working hours, lack of rightful compensation, and limited access to healthcare and education. In addition, they are often discriminated against within Thai society and views as inferior members of the communities where they live and work.
MMF seeks to provide assistance to people at a disadvantage in their access to rights and protection. Following are several of the primary strategies this project has been engaged in since 2008:
- Legal assistance
- Seeking payment for unpaid wages
- Raising awareness of rights within the migrant workers community
- Creating a network of migrant worker volunteers
- Operating a Learning Centre which provides education and a safe place for the children of migrant workers, as well as practical resources for migrant workers themselves
- Providing for the basic human rights of migrant workers who find themselves in critical need
To promote and building a sense of respect of equal human dignity
The Project works in the district of MeaChan, MaeSai, Chiangsang, Phan, and Meuang , Chiang Rai Province and others nearby provinces
Project implementing methodology
Project Rights works through its volunteer who resides in each district. The volunteer gives basically rights towards those who has problem for example being confiscated personal identity, wage not paid or lower wage, hit by employer. Each of volunteer explains in Burmese towards the migrant worker.
Activity which promotes the capacity and understanding towards the migrant workers.
Attending the 1st May Labor Day 2559 B.E. with other laborers in Chiangrai Province
Providing legal support towards the migrant workers who treated unjust from their employers.
Providing legal support in demanding the compensation from employer in lieu of receiving badly physical injury of work
Providing an emergency support towards migrant who received accident
Attending the seminars with governmental and non governmental organizations
Visit to migrant workers at their working sites
Liaise with other related organizations in demanding rights of the migrant workers
Building a relationship with concerned organizations
Building a relationship with Caring and Negotiating Committee for Myanmar Citizens in Maesai, Thailand- CNCMC at Tachileik, Myanmar
Established of emergency fund to give support towards the migrant workers i.e. accident, immediate fire out and others
Monthly project meeting in order to updating the situation, up to date related migrant laws and sharing experiences