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Myanmar trade organization calls for protection of migrant workers


Migrant workers on a fishing boat in Mae Klong district, Samut Songkhram province, Thailand, 07 May 2015. Photo: EPA

The Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM) has called for adopting a specific law for protection of Myanmar migrant workers, saying there are still exploitation by the agents even though memorandums of understanding are signed between the government and overseas employment agencies, official media reported Thursday. 

The CTUM, represented by its director Htwe Htwe Thein, made the call at a workshop in Yangon Wednesday. 

In a debate in the House of Representatives (Lower House) on the same day over a proposal calling for protection of Myanmar migrant workers from exploitation and abuse, the government representative U Thein Swe, who is minister of labor, immigration and population, said the ministry is making efforts to create decent job opportunities and to help workers at home and abroad receive basic rights and safety in their migration. 

He called for participation of every citizen to help in the government's efforts to compile a list of illegal Myanmar migrant workers in foreign countries. 

The minister said the government has assigned labor attaches in Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand to ensure Myanmar migrant workers enjoy legal protection in host countries. 

Myanmar formed overseas Employment Agencies Federation to supervise the signing of a code of conduct by the agencies, he said, adding that punitive measures were taken against 20 agencies including termination and suspension of licenses. 

He said the government has issued documents to undocumented Myanmar workers in Thailand and Malaysia to enable them to work legally there following coordination with relevant countries. 

According to statistics, about 4 million Myanmar migrants are working in Thailand which is the most popular destination for Myanmar migrant workers, followed by Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Japan. 

Meanwhile, a total of 1,235 out of 2,294 detained Myanmar nationals in Malaysia, who were issued Certificate of Identity, have returned home as of late this month. 

The 2,294 Myanmar nationals were or being reportedly detained for various reasons in 11 camps in Malaysia.

Courtesy Global Times

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