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ILO trains Myanmar’s officials to promote safer labour migration

International Labour Organization, Myanmar, 16 July 2018 - Migrant workers comprise one fifth of Myanmar labour force. Their skills and remittances contribute significantly to the country’s development. However, every year too many migrant workers are exploited by unscrupulous brokers. The ILO assists Myanmar government in promoting safer labour migration and decent work at destination.

It is estimated that as much as 20 per cent of Myanmar labour force is working abroad, with over 3 million Myanmar migrant workers employed in neighbouring Thailand and Malaysia alone.

Daunted by the expensive, complex and time consuming procedures required for formal recruitment through licensed agencies, most migrants continue to seek out the assistance of illegal brokers or go abroad independently using unofficial migration channels.

As a result, Myanmar migrant workers are at high risk of becoming victims of labour rights violations, abuse, trafficking and modern day slavery. The ILO, through its TRIANGLE in ASEAN Programme , works closely with the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population to train local officials; especially Labour Exchange officers, General Administration Officers (GAD) and Ward and village administrators to be able to provide accurate and relevant information on safe migration to potential migrants and their families.

“Local government officials are front line service providers for people trying to make a decision about migrating for work overseas. It is thus vital that they are well informed themselves about the risks and the benefits and are able to create spaces where would-be migrants feel comfortable to make enquiries”, said Wai Hnin Po, National Coordinator of the ILO TRIANGLE in ASEAN Programme in Myanmar.

Between April and July 2018, over 330 government officials from Myingyan, Kyaukse, Meiktila, Mandalay, and Kaw Thaung in the Tanintharyi Region received training on safer migration practices from the ILO.

“The ILO hopes these trainings will support the officials in their work and that migrants will have better access to the information they need to make the decisions, especially through the Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) at the Labour Exchange offices and through the One stop shops coordinated by GAD”, said Wai Hnin Po.


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