Thai authorities conduct a raid to arrest illegal migrant workers.

Myanmar migrant workers submitted their complaints to Migrant Workers Rights Network (MWRN) for having their rights violated in Thailand, said Thein Tun from the MWRN.

“Some factories asked for work permits, passports and visas of the migrant workers to renew MoU but they don’t actually renew them. When the workers asked for their documents back, they didn’t return it to them. So the migrant workers submitted complaints to our office about them. Our office staffs, officials from labour ministry and factories’ owners made negotiations and made them return their permits, passports and visas in front of us,” he said.

Some recruitment agencies demanded a fee of Ks500,000 while some even asked for one million kyats, which are much more than the fixed price for MoU.

“The fixed price of the MoU by the government is K150,000 and we have told the agencies about it. However, the recruitment agencies in Myanmar face the issue of corruption. It will be difficult to take action against them. Migrant workers are not familiar with legal affairs and some don’t even know about the MoU price,” he said.

Some factory owners threatened the migrant workers and informed the police to arrest the workers after the owners took and hid away the workers’ documentations.

Nearly 50 cases of complaints made to the MWRN monthly and it has been increasing lately. Most of them are cases which the factory owners took over their documentations, cases which brokers cheated workers of their money and cases which workers sustained injuries in their workplaces.

More than two million Myanmar migrant workers are working in Thailand and most of them are working in seafood processing plants, building and production sectors.

The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ASEAN Trade Union Council.