Trade unions demand amendment of Foreign Employment Law

17 December 2018
Trade unions demand amendment of Foreign Employment Law

Labour organizations have demanded an amendment to the Foreign Employment Law which was enacted and promulgated in 1999 because it is obsolete.

The demands came at the ‘International Migrant Workers Day 2018’ ceremony held on December 16 at Yangon Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS) office.

Thet Thet Aung from Myanmar Migrant Workers Civil Societies and Labour Organizations Network said, “We demanded one thing. It is a 1999 law. This Foreign Employment Law was enacted in 1999 and it is now outdated. I see this law needs to be amended at the earliest to be an effective law.”

This 1999 Foreign Employment Law has provisions for protecting migrant workers’ rights with means for settling their issues but there are weaknesses in implementing them.

The provisions in the law do not include how to effectively handle cases for unlicensed brokers in the labour market and other gender issues.

International Labour Organization (ILO) coordinator in Myanmar Jackie Pollock said, “We must review the Foreign Employment Law in cooperation with Myanmar Ministry of Labour if we want to protect the labour rights of migrant workers and to make this law good. We are helping to make these laws better.

The labour organizations also suggested adding clear provisions for tackling illegal brokers and other issues of women migrant workers.

Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, permanent secretary Myo Aung said that the process of amending the law was still underway and he could not say exactly when it could be amended.