Category Archives: MMN Activities

Japanese Language of Beyond “Tolerance”: Living Together with Migrants – A Multimedia Documentary

PRESS RELEASE: Beyond “Tolerance”: Living Together with Migrants – A Photo Exhibition & Documentary Launch in Yangon, Myanmar

On Friday, 28 October 2016, the social inclusion of migrants and migrant returnees was collectively endorsed at the Mekong Migration Network’s (MMN’s) opening event of “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Living Together with Migrants,” a photo exhibition and multimedia documentary, held at Myanmar Deitta gallery in Yangon.

At the event, Amyotha Hluttaw Member of Parliament U Kyaw Htwe, U Ko Ko Gyi and Daw Thet Thet Aung of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, Deputy Director Daw May Thu Nyo of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, Chief Technical Advisor Ms. Jackie Pollock of the International Labour Organization, Regional Manager Mr. Sopheap Suong of the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center, returning Myanmar migrant Daw Thiri, documentary photographer Mr. John Hulme, and Research Officer Ms. Carli Melo of the Mekong Migration Network discussed the issue of promoting social inclusion among migrant returnees in Myanmar.

“We need to create jobs that are useful for them [migrants] here. When they come back [to Myanmar] they usually can’t find any jobs and need to return. This becomes a cycle. We need to break this cycle,” U Kyaw Htwe, Amyotha Hluttaw MP and President of the Domestic and International Labour Committee, told the media at the event.

U Ko Ko Gyi, General Secretary and prominent leader of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, stressed the need to recognize the skills that migrants gain abroad and apply these skills to the national development of Myanmar. In his presentation, U Ko Ko Gyi asserted, “Migrants are building this country. We must ensure that they are also building a better life.”

Ms. Jackie Pollock of ILO-Yangon spoke of the alienation felt by migrants in Singapore who are “looked down upon, pitied, and disrespected.” She explained, “The stigma runs so deep that women said they never told their families that they were domestic workers; they said they were teachers and shop workers.” Her presentation highlighted the exclusionary effects of temporary migration policies and the need to amend such policies in order to promote inclusion amongst migrant communities.

Representing the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center – an MMN member organization – Mr. Sopheap Suong remarked on the similarities between the situation of migrant returnees in Myanmar and Cambodia, which include migrant returnees’ limited access to adequate health services and financial support and the lack of absentee voting systems.

Daw Thet Thet Aung of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society proposed recommendations to the Government of Myanmar, which are outlined in MMN’s Advocacy Paper titled: “Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants.” These recommendations include simplifying requirements to secure national identity cards, establishing more formal and appropriate educational provisions for migrants and their families, providing psycho-social and financial support, and recognizing the qualifications and certifying the skills acquired by migrants.

Daw Thiri concluded the presentations by sharing her experience migrating to Japan under the Technical Intern Training Program. After experiencing a reduction in her wage and breach of contract, Daw Thiri sued Myanmar employment agencies Htay Service and Myanmar Express Link as well as Japanese agents.

Around 70 audience members occupied Myanmar Deitta on Friday afternoon representing civil society organizations, labour unions, the Government of Myanmar, and the local press. The event included the launch of MMN’s Myanmar-language multimedia documentary and was succeeded by a two-day photo exhibition – both of which showcase images of migrants’ daily lives in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan captured by documentary photographer Mr. John Hulme.

* * *

Mekong Migration Network (MMN) is a sub-regional network of civil society organizations working towards the protection and promotion of migrants’ rights in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (website: www.mekongmigration.org, phone/fax: +6653-283259).

This event and exhibition were part of a wider project supported by the Toyota Foundation. Prior to this event, the photos were exhibited in Bangkok, Thailand, from 8-16 October at SEA Junction and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 21-23 October at Meta House (German Cambodian Cultural Center).

For interviews or more information please contact:

  • (English language) Rebecca Napier-Moore, Mekong Migration Network Associate, rebecca_napier@yahoo.com, ph +66888936068.
  • (Myanmar language) Thet Thet Aung, 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, thet2aung@the88generation.org, ph +959794932344.
  • (Thai language) Omsin (Plaii) Boonlert, Mekong Migration Network Research and Advocacy Officer, plaii@mekongmigration.org, ph +66869238313.

To view photos and the multimedia documentary online, and to access more information on migration in the Mekong, go to: www.mekongmigration.org.

 

thai2818-3 thai2820 thai2821-3 thai2824 thai2831 thai2845 thai2855 thai2866 thai2873

The event has been covered by several Myanmar local news agencies and can access from the links below:

Myanmar Times: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/lifestyle/23342-beyond-tolerance-exhibition-captures-migrant-struggles.html    (English Language)

DVB: http://www.dvb.no/news/interview-migrants-need-tell-story/72125 (English Language)

Kamayut Media: http://www.kamayutmedia.com/lifestyle/social/9590 (Burmese Language)

Beyond “Tolerance”: Living Together with Migrants – A Mekong Migration Network Photo Exhibition & Documentary Launch in Yangon, Myanmar

Despite the crucial role migrant workers play in the functioning of economies, many governments formulate policies based on the notion that migration is a purely temporary phenomenon. These policies often work to reinforce the social exclusion of migrants and their families.

On Friday, 28 October 2016, the social inclusion of migrants and migrant returnees was collectively endorsed at the Mekong Migration Network’s (MMN’s) opening event of “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Living Together with Migrants,” a photo exhibition and multimedia documentary, held at Myanmar Deitta gallery in Yangon.

Carli Melo of the Mekong Migration Network introducing the photo exhibition and multimedia documentary at the opening event in Yangon.

Carli Melo of the Mekong Migration Network introducing the photo exhibition and multimedia documentary at the opening event in Yangon.

At the event, Amyotha Hluttaw Member of Parliament U Kyaw Htwe, U Ko Ko Gyi and Daw Thet Thet Aung of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, Deputy Director Daw May Thu Nyo of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, Chief Technical Advisor Ms. Jackie Pollock of the International Labour Organization, Regional Manager Mr. Sopheap Suong of the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Centre, returning Myanmar migrant Daw Thiri, documentary photographer Mr. John Hulme, and Research Officer Ms. Carli Melo of the Mekong Migration Network discussed the issue of promoting social inclusion among migrant returnees in Myanmar.

Deputy Director Daw May Thu Nyo of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population speaking about labour migration at the opening event.

Deputy Director Daw May Thu Nyo of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population speaking about labour migration at the opening event.

“We need to create jobs that are useful for them [migrants] here. When they come back [to Myanmar] they usually can’t find any jobs and need to return. This becomes a cycle. We need to break this cycle,” U Kyaw Htwe, Amyotha Hluttaw MP and President of the Domestic and International Labour Committee, told the media at the event.

thai2816-3

U Kyaw Htwe, Amyotha Hluttaw MP and President of the Domestic and International Labour Committee, opening the event.

U Ko Ko Gyi, General Secretary and prominent leader of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, stressed the need to recognize the skills that migrants gain abroad and apply these skills to the national development of Myanmar. In his presentation, U Ko Ko Gyi asserted, “Migrants are building this country. We must ensure that they are also building a better life.”

thai2819

U Ko Ko Gyi, General Secretary and prominent leader of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, presenting at the opening event.

Ms. Jackie Pollock of ILO-Yangon spoke of the alienation felt by migrants in Singapore who are “looked down upon, pitied, and disrespected.” She explained, “The stigma runs so deep that women said they never told their families that they were domestic workers; they said they were teachers and shop workers.” Her presentation highlighted the exclusionary effects of temporary migration policies and the need to amend such policies in order to promote inclusion amongst migrant communities.

thai2831

Chief Technical Advisor Ms. Jackie Pollock of the International Labour Organization presenting at the opening event.

Representing the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center – an MMN member organization – Mr. Sopheap Suong remarked on the similarities between the situation of migrant returnees in Myanmar and Cambodia, which include migrant returnees’ limited access to adequate health services and financial support and the lack of absentee voting systems.

thai2845

Regional Manager Mr. Sopheap Suong of the Cambodia Women’s Crisis Center speaking about the similarities between the situation of migrant returnees in Myanmar and Cambodia.

Daw Thet Thet Aung of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society proposed recommendations to the Government of Myanmar, which are outlined in MMN’s Advocacy Paper titled: “Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants.” These recommendations include simplifying requirements to secure national identity cards, establishing more formal and appropriate educational provisions for migrants and their families, providing psycho-social and financial support, and recognizing the qualifications and certifying the skills acquired by migrants.

Daw Thet Thet Aung, Head of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society’s Labour Department, speaking to the local press about the project.

Daw Thet Thet Aung, Head of 88 Generation Peace and Open Society’s Labour Department, speaking to the local press about the project.

Daw Thiri concluded the presentations by sharing her experience migrating to Japan under the Technical Intern Training Program. After experiencing a reduction in her wage and breach of contract, Daw Thiri sued Myanmar employment agencies Htay Service and Myanmar Express Link as well as Japanese agents.

Daw Thiri sharing her experience migrating to Japan under the Technical Intern Training Program.

Daw Thiri sharing her experience migrating to Japan under the Technical Intern Training Program.

Around 70 audience members occupied Myanmar Deitta on Friday afternoon representing civil society organizations, labour unions, the Government of Myanmar, and the local press. The event included the launch of MMN’s Myanmar-language multimedia documentary and was succeeded by a two-day photo exhibition – both of which showcased images of migrants’ daily lives in Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan captured by documentary photographer Mr. John Hulme.

thai3046

This event and exhibition were part of a wider project supported by the Toyota Foundation titled, “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Working Hand-in-Hand to Promote the Social Inclusion of Migrants and Their Families.” The other major components of this project included country visits to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Japan, talks and photo exhibitions in Bangkok and Phnom Penh, and the publication of “Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants.”
thai2859 thai2836

Myanmar Language of Beyond “Tolerance”: Living Together with Migrants – A Multimedia Documentary

The Opening of MMN’s photo exhibition in Phnom Penh Khmer and English Language Documentary: “Beyond Tolerance: Living Together with Migrants” Khmer and English Language Advocacy Paper ““Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants”.

On 21 October 2016 the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) opened a photo exhibition and launched a multimedia documentary. On this occasion, MMN also launched the advocacy paper “Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants,” at Meta House in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The opening event was attended by the public, representatives of the Cambodian government, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), and International NGOs.

Mr Sokchar Mom of Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW) welcomed the audience and gave an overview of the photo exhibition and documentary which are part of an ongoing project “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Working hand in hand to promote social inclusion of migrants and their families”, supported by the Toyota Foundation.

The introduction of the project was followed by screening the Khmer version of MMN’s multimedia documentary to promote social inclusion entitled “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Living Together with Migrants”. To view the documentary, please visit: http://www.mekongmigration.org/?p=5190

Mr. Choup Narath, Deputy General, Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MOLVT), began the public discussion. Mr Narath highlighted that there was limited social protection for migrant workers, and that migrant workers face a double disadvantage. He pointed out that unequal treatment on social protection remain, and migrants face discrimination and exclusion due to their status and nature of employment. He mentioned that social protection of migrant workers was among the government’s concerns, and that they had given recommendations at the preparation meeting of the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour (AFML) and will further discuss the issue at AFML on 9-10 November 2016 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, where the theme will be better quality of life for migrant workers in the region.

Mr. Sokchar Mom presented migration trends from Cambodia. Thailand remains the main destination country, but the number of Cambodian migrants in Japan is increasing. He highlighted that Cambodian migrant workers in Thailand face short-term migration policies, lack support to mobilise and organize, and find their mobility is restricted, resulting in social exclusion. He then urged the Cambodia government to improve Embassy assistance, especially related to unionising and collective bargaining. The Thai and Cambodian governments should collaborate in sharing information and promoting cultural exchange, so that multiculturalism will be not only encouraged by law but will reach migrants’ daily lives.

Key findings of MMN’s advocacy paper “Permanently Temporary: The Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants” were presented by Ms. Omsin Boonlert from MMN. She highlighted that the short–term migration management policies in destination countries such as Thailand result in migrant workers’ marginalization and exclusion from local communities, as well as increased risk of exploitation. However, there are efforts from civil society organisations to encourage social inclusion in destination countries through language classes, health care services, and the formation of migrant groups. Yet, in origin countries like Cambodia, social inclusion of migrant returnees remain a challenge, and returnees frequently lack access to education and health care services.

Ms. Boonlert presented recommendations to the Cambodian government concerning: amendment of regulation to allow migrant workers to be able to vote abroad; ensuring returnees have access to health care services; and facilitation of migrants’ children in accessing free public education.

dscf6317  dscf6313  dscf6322  dscf6327  dscf6345  dscf6362  dscf6363  dscf6368  dscf6385  dscf6376  dscf6388

Back to Top