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More Myanmar workers suffer abuse in Thailand, group says

Thai companies are abusing the rights of more Myanmar workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a migrant aid group in the neighbouring country.

Ko Ye Min, spokesperson for the Aid Alliance Committee for Myanmar Workers, said the abuses ranged from unpaid wages to forced evictions.

“More and more, the rights of Myanmar workers in Thailand are being violated,” he said. “Even workers who have employment contracts under the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries have not been spared.”

“The violations have worsened since the pandemic began causing Thai companies financial problems,” he added.

He said that among the most common abuses were employment contract violations, especially by employers in the southern Thai province of Ranong near the Andaman Sea, and in Mae Sot in Tak province.

Over 150,000 Myanmar migrant workers who lost their jobs due to factory closures have returned home since May. Some have since returned to Thailand, including more than 400 who held a protest to demand unpaid wages at a factory in Mae Sot province.

Their dispute with the management is being mediated by the Thailand Labour Department and industrial zone officials, according to U Wai Lin Maung, Myanmar labour attaché in Mae Sot.

Ko Ye Min urged the Myanmar and Thai governments to work together to stop violations of workers’ rights.

Thailand, the top foreign destination for Myanmar citizens seeking work abroad, has an estimated 2 million legal and illegal Myanmar workers, according to the International Office of Migration.

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Source : Myanmar Times

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