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Paper: Safe migration knowledge, attitudes and practices

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Who are Myanmar’s potential labour migrants, which countries are they hoping to work in, and what are their motivations for working overseas?

Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security (MOLES) estimated that as much as 10 per cent of the Myanmar labour force is employed overseas (2012), yet little is known about the situation of migrant workers before they migrate.

A team of researchers from MDRI-CESD surveyed 625 potential migrant workers, aged 15 to 45 years, to build an understanding of the attitudes and practices of potential migrants, as well as an understanding of their knowledge of labour rights, labour market opportunities and safe migration (i.e. the risks of exploitation, deportation and human trafficking). Survey respondents were from the Mandalay Region, Tanintharyi Region and Shan State, with data collected from late January to mid-Febuary 2014.

Focus group discussions were also held with potential and returned migrants and licensed recruitment agents, and interviews were conducted with representatives from the government, trade unions, civil society organizations and labour brokers to collect further qualitative information.

The main objectives of the study were:

  1. to collect information about the population of potential migrant workers in Myanmar to support the development of evidence-based recruitment and labour protection policies and interventions;
  2. to build an understanding of existing safe migration awareness and behaviour to enable future evaluation of the impact of policy changes and interventions.

This report was prepared by a team of researchers at MDRI-CESD, working in partnership with the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) GMS TRIANGLE project (the ILO’s Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrants Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion).

Publication name: Safe migration knowledge, attitudes and practices in Myanmar

Author(s): Aung Hein, Paul Minoletti, Aung Thet Paing, Ni Lei Win, and Benjamin Harkins

Supported by: The Tripartite Action to Protect the Rights of Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS TRIANGLE project) of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Publication date: February 2015

Language(s): English

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