Category Archives: MMN Activities

Empower Foundation Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration

June 2020

Open Letter To: The Prime Minister and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)

Re: Situation of sex workers during the COVOD 19 crisis Empower Foundation and the network of human rights organizations take this opportunity to present this Open Letter to the Prime Minister and the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government ordered Entertainment Places to close, beginning on the 18 March 2020. Three months have passed, and the government has gradually allowed other businesses to re-open under the supervision of the Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA). This re-opening has been carried out in phases, with Phases 1 – 3 now complete, and Phase 4 underway. The CSSA has announced that entertainment places, bars, karaoke, and soapy massage parlors will remain closed. The ongoing closures will impact many sex workers.

According to an inspection of Entertainment Places undertaken by the Ministry of Interior in 2015, there were a total of 142,786 Entertainment Places. If each place employed just ten workers, it would mean Entertainment Places employ upwards of 1,427,860 workers. Sex workers are providing for their extended family, so a further five people will be affected for each sex worker out of work. The total number of people impacted is around 7.5 million people.

Because the government has not given a clear indication how long the closure orders will need to stay in place, sex workers are unable to make plans for their lives and the lives of their families. As one sex worker told Empower “If places stay closed, they have to help; If they can’t help, they must open”

Empower Foundation and the other signatories below are deeply concerned that by failing to provide direct assistance to those impacted, and by not giving a clear indication of the length of the closures, the government is increasing the risk of serious consequences such as increased corruption and exploitation, which will negatively impact on society including but not limited to sex workers.

Therefore, we urge the Government

1. To make a clear announcement how long entertainment places can expect to stay closed

2. To extend the period of the COVID relief support payments of 5,000 baht/month and to ensure it reaches all sex workers, including migrant and indigenous sex workers

3. To urgently pay the unemployment benefits owed to members of the Social Security Scheme Article 33, and extend the payment period from 90 days to 180 days

4. To expunge the criminal records of all sex workers arrested on prostitution charges so starting a new life more possible.

We trust the government recognizes the importance and urgency of the situation of sex workers in line with their promise “We don’t leave each other behind”. We hope “the government won’t leave us behind”

Respectfully yours,

Empower Foundation

Sex Workers of Phuket Sex Workers of Krabi

Sex Workers of Bangkok

Sex Workers of Pattaya

Sex Workers of Samut Sakhon

Sex Workers of Udon Thani

Sex Workers of Mukdahan

Sex Workers of Chiang Rai

Sex Workers of Chiang Mai

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Project Coordinator

The Mekong Migration Network is looking for a PROJECT COORDINATOR (Roles of Countries of Origin Project) to join our team. Please see the job announcement below.

The Mekong Migration Network in coordination with the Foundation for Migrants from the Mekong Neighbourhood (MMN Foundation) is looking for a full-time PROJECT COORDINATOR (Roles of Countries of Origin Project). The successful applicant will be based at the MMN Secretariat office in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and work for 5 days a week. The position requires the successful applicant to travel to Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam frequently. There is no special support (i.e. support for relocation costs, etc.) for people applying for this position from overseas or other provinces. This initial contract is for one year which is renewable depending on job performance and funding availability.

Deadline for application: 15 June 2020

Reports to: Regional Coordinator
Job location:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Salary and Benefits: 
Local NGO rate subject to qualifications and experience.
Start Date: 
1 July 2020 (negotiable)
Contract Duration:
 One year contract (subject to 119 days probation at the beginning of contract); renewable depending on work performance and funding availability.

About the Mekong Migration Network

MMN is a sub-regional network of civil society organizations and research institutes working on migration issues in Mekong countries. MMN’s joint areas of work include advocacy, information monitoring, research, capacity building and networking. Please visit our website: www.mekongmigration.org for further information about MMN.

Overview of the Project:

Since its foundation in 2003, MMN has carried out various collaborative research and advocacy projects looking at policies and issues affecting migrants not only in destination countries but also in their countries of origin. In 2015, MMN launched a new project titled Roles of Countries of Origin in Protecting Migrants’ Rights and started renewed efforts in highlighting the roles that countries of origin must play in protecting their national migrating abroad. The findings of the study were published in a report titled Safe from the Start: Roles of Countries of Origin in Protecting Migrants. Please find below a link to the PDF:

http://www.mekongmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Safe-from-the-Start_English.pdf

From 20-21 July 2017, MMN organised a Policy Dialogue on Roles of Countries of Origin in Yangon, Myanmar. Representatives of the Cambodian and Myanmar governments, along with representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Yangon, private recruitment agencies, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and CSOs from Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the Philippines, gathered to hear the research findings and recommendations. The Policy Dialogue also provided space for various stakeholders to discuss the roles countries of origin could increasingly play in protecting their nationals migrating abroad.

During the Policy Dialogue Governments of Cambodia and Myanmar agreed to meet again to discuss a common country of origin agenda, and expressed their hope that other countries of origin in the Mekong will join in discussion in the future. To learn more about the Policy Dialogue, please find below a link to the PDF of the proceedings:

http://www.mekongmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/RoCoOPolicyDialogueProceedings.pdf

Following this success, MMN has carried out the second phase of the project. The second phase of the project focused on the roles played by countries of origin in enabling their citizens to benefit from social protection schemes while abroad and upon return. The findings of the collaborative research was published as the Social Protection Across Borders: Roles of Mekong Countries of Origin in Protecting Migrants’ Rights.

Please find below a link to the PDF:

http://www.mekongmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Proceedings-of-the-Second-Policy-Dialogue-3.pdf

Furthermore, in light of the growing trend in migration from Mekong countries to destination countries beyond the GMS and the evident gap in knowledge and limited support systems for migrants in these countries, the scope of the second phase of the project was expanded to investigate roles of countries of origin in protecting migrants in the following migration corridors:

  • Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lao PDR to Thailand;
  • Myanmar to Singapore;
  • Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam to Japan;
  • Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam to Malaysia; and
  • Cambodia and Myanmar to Hong Kong.

Following the success of the Phase 1 and 2, MMN’s Roles of Countries of Origin Project has entered into the 3rd Phase. The goal of the 3rd Phase, scheduled for 2020 to 2022, is to further strengthen the roles that the Mekong countries of origin, namely Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, play in protecting migrants’ rights. In particular, the project will strategically focus on the roles of countries of origin in protecting migrants’ right to social protection, to take advantage of the momentum created during the previous phase of our Roles of Countries of Origin project. To achieve this goal, the proposed project will combine the following interventions: i) Advocacy with key stakeholders such as ministries of labour and recruitment agencies of respective countries and possibly with ASEAN; ii) Capacity building of civil society organisations (CSOs) in order for them to gain stronger understanding on social protection and roles of countries of origin, and to be able to carry out more effective advocacy; iii) Policy monitoring and information dissemination, to equip MMN and its project partners with the most up-to-date information concerning roles of countries of origin; and iv) research and awareness raising, to present the details of migrants’ experiences throughout the migration cycle, from recruitment process to deployment.

Moreover, MMN has recently organised a series of multi stakeholder consultation meetings on labour migration from Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam, to Japan. Given the growing trend of labour migration to Japan, MMN is working on capacity building of the CSOs in respective Mekong countries of origin who are assisting migrants going to Japan, production of a film to raise awareness and developing an advocacy paper.

The Project Coordinator will play a key role in ensuring the timely implementation of the project in consultation with MMN project partners. The Project Coordinator will directly report to the MMN Regional Coordinator. The Project Coordinator will also oversee the work carried out by her/his subordinates, interns and volunteers for the project.

Roles and responsibilities:

1. Project coordination

*Coordinate the implementation of the MMN’s Roles of Countries of Origin project under the guidance of the Regional Coordinator.

*Assist the Regional Coordinator in managing the overall project budget.

*Ensure that expenses for the respective activities are reported on time and in accordance with MMN policies and requirement.

*Alert the Regional Coordinator if/when the project encounters challenges (in relation to time, finance, political environment, personnel etc)

*Undertake travel relating to project implementation such as for the purpose of following up with project partners, carrying out key informant interviews, and organizing consultation meetings, as required.

2. Research and advocacy

*Carry out research on migration policies in migrants’ countries of origin such as Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and ensure MMN has up-to-date information.

*Monitor development of relevant migration and recruitment policies and practices, including those of destination countries that are applicable to this project. 

*Monitor development of ASEAN policies with special focus on roles of countries of origin.

*Develop concrete research plans following discussion during the project consultation meetings. This includes, but is not limited to, developing an overall research design, and formulating questionnaires for interviews.

*Actively follow up with research partners and provide clarification and/or advice as necessary.

*Provide guidance and/or orientation to research partners where necessary to ensure the research carried out by the partners is done in accordance with the plan and is of high quality.

*Alert MMN members and the Secretariat when there are urgent issues to which MMN should respond, to enable MMN to carry out timely advocacy work.

*Draft relevant articles, position papers, or press releases that are necessary to carry out advocacy on roles of countries of origin.

3. Organising meetings and workshop

*Organise meetings and workshops as required by the project.

*Assist the Regional Coordinator in ensuring that the objectives of respective meetings and workshop are efficiently met.

*Ensure proceedings and meetings minutes are recorded appropriately by staff designated for the task.

*Ensure timely publication/announcement of the meeting outcome on the MMN Webpage and/or circulation of the agreement arising from respective internal meetings with participants.

4. Capacity building of CSOs

*Coordinate the development of training modules for a regional training program, in consultation with the Regional Coordinator, Consultants and MMN project partners.

*Coordinate the development of a handbook for CSOs in the countries of origin.

*Organise the training programs.

*Ensure documentation of the program is done appropriately by staff designated for the task.

*Actively follow up with the participants of the training for sustained collaboration.

5. MMN Webpage and Social Media

*Regularly update a section on the MMN webpage specially dedicated to the project on Roles of Countries of Origin.

*Use other social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc, to effectively promote the achievement of the project and key advocacy points.

6. Film production

*Assist production of a short film, by coordinating logistics, organizing preparatory meetings, taking minutes of discussion etc.

7. Coordination and management of MMN partnerships and media contacts

*Regularly communicate with MMN members and follow up with them to ensure that MMN Secretariat has most updated contact information of respective members.

*Regularly update the MMN membership database to ensure smooth communication with members.

*Regularly update the MMN media contact list.

7. Reporting

*Prepare concise narrative reports on the outcome of respective project activities and submit them to the Regional Coordinator in a timely manner.

*Assist the Regional Coordinator in preparing the interim and final project reports to the donors.

8. Other tasks

*As a member of the MMN Secretariat, assist tasks related to other MMN projects and the overall work of MMN. These may include, but are not limited to, assisting in the organization of meetings and various activities for other projects, representing MMN in various events, and being a part of MMN team to organize regional events, etc.

*as assigned

S/he will work as a part of our multi-cultural team and report directly to the Regional Coordinator. The working language of MMN is English. As an employee of the sub-regional network, the job involves frequent travel. 

Qualifications and Experience

Essential

*A Master’s degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field, such as development studies, migration studies, gender studies, international relations or law;

*Minimum of 2 year of relevant work experience in a field related to human rights, migration, gender or development;

*Fluency in speaking and strong written in English

*Strong public speaking skills

*Strong research skills

*Strong commitment to and understanding of migration issues in Mekong countries

*Ability to work independently and as part of a team

*Ability to work in a diverse linguistic and cultural environment

*Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines

*Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

*Excellent attention to detail

*Proven computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint)

*Commitment to MMN’s approach and values

*Ability to travel

Desirable

*Speaking and writing skills in Burmese, Khmer or Vietnamese

*Experience in carrying out collaborative projects

*Experience in developing training modules

*Experience doing national and regional-level advocacy

*Some experience on website and database management

*Experience using social media (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, etc.) for awareness raising

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

For those interested, please email your CV and a cover letter along with a list of two referees’ contact details and a writing sample in English for the attention of MMN Regional Coordinator, Ms. Reiko Harima at application@mekongmigration.org by 15 June 2020.  Only short listed candidates will be contacted. Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Information, Documentation and Advocacy (IDA) Officer

The Mekong Migration Network is looking for an INFORMATION, DOCUMENTATION AND ADVOCACY (IDA) OFFICER to join our team. Please see the job announcement below.

The Mekong Migration Network (MMN) in coordination with the Foundation for Migrants from the Mekong Neighbourhood (MMN Foundation) is looking for a full-time Information, Documentation and Advocacy (IDA) Officer. The successful applicant will be based at the MMN Secretariat office in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The position requires the successful applicant to frequently travel within Thailand as well as within the Mekong region. There is no special support (i.e. support for relocation costs, etc.) for people applying for this position from overseas or other provinces. This initial contract is for one year which may be renewable depending on job performance and funding availability.

Deadline for application: 15 June 2020

Reports to: MMN Regional Coordinator
Job location:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Salary and Benefits: 
Local NGO rate subject to qualifications and experience.
Start Date: 
1 July 2020 (or earlier)
Contract Duration:
 One year contract (subject to 119 days probation at the beginning of contract); renewable depending on work performance.

Overview of the Mekong Migration Network

MMN is a sub-regional network of civil society organizations and research institutes working on migration issues in Mekong countries. MMN’s joint areas of work include advocacy, information monitoring, research, capacity building and networking. Please see www.mekongmigration.org for more information about MMN.

Roles and responsibilities:

General
To work as part of the MMN Secretariat team to help strengthen the MMN as a sub-regional network promoting the rights of migrant workers in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)

Specific

1. Information Monitoring and Dissemination

*Regularly collate and circulate information regarding migration in the Mekong.

*Promptly alert MMN members and the Secretariat when there are urgent issues to which MMN should respond.

2. Research and Advocacy

*Work as a member of the MMN Secretariat team in carrying out advocacy work. This may include, but not limited to, carrying out background research, assisting in drafting statements and other relevant documents, editing and laying them out, circulating and promoting the final documents effectively.

*Carry out research and advocacy work on the projects assigned by the Regional Coordinator.

3. Documentation

*Document discussion during MMN meetings.

*Write concise reports of activities which MMN organises or participate in for the purpose of publishing them through the MMN webpage or the annual report.

*Coordinate production of MMN annual reports.

*Assist the Regional Coordinator in preparing reports of activities for donors.

*Organise MMN photos and other visual materials so that they can be promptly used for the purpose of reporting, publishing, advocacy etc.

4. MMN Webpage and Social Media

*Develop and update the MMN webpage in coordination with other Secretariat staff members.

*Update social media to promote MMN work and advocacy points.

5. Other tasks

*Assist preparation and implementation of meetings and other activities.

*Other tasks as assigned by the Regional Coordinator.

Qualifications and Experience

Essential

*Relevant degree or equivalent experience in a relevant field, such as development studies, migration studies, gender studies, international relations, law or journalism;

*Fluency and excellent writing skills in English

*Excellent note taking skills

*Strong public speaking skills

*Strong commitment to and understanding of migration issues in Mekong countries

*Ability to work independently and as part of a small team

*Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines

*Excellent interpersonal and communication skills

*Excellent attention to detail

*Proven computer literacy (Microsoft Word, Excel & PowerPoint)

*Commitment to MMN’s approach and values

*Ability to manage Webpage content 

*Ability to travel

Desirable

*Fluency and strong writing skills in one of the Mekong national languages

*Good understanding on country and sub-regional political, economic and social context in Mekong

*Experience of national and regional advocacy

*Experience working with social media (Twitter, Facebook etc.) for advocacy

*Skills to design poster, videos or other forms of visuals

*Skills to layout reports

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

For those interested, please email your CV and a cover letter along with a list of two referees’ contact details and a writing sample in English for the attention of MMN Regional Coordinator, Ms. Reiko Harima at application@mekongmigration.org by 15 June 2020.  Please write “Application for Information, Documentation and Advocacy Officer” as a subject. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Short-listed candidates will also be asked to take part in a writing test.  Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Proceedings of the Multi-Stakeholder Workshop on Migrant Agricultural Workers in Thailand now available

On 19 December 2019, Mekong Migration Network (MMN),  a network of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) advocating for migrants’ rights in the Mekong region, held a multi-stakeholder workshop on Migrant Agricultural Workers in Thailand at the IBIS Riverside hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. Over 40 participants, including migrant workers representatives, Thai government officials from the Ministry of Labour, Cambodian government officials, CSOs from Thailand, Myanmar and Cambodia, the International Labour Organization (U.N.), and experts attended the Workshop to hear findings from MMN’s publication “Migrant Agricultural Workers in Thailand” and discuss how stakeholders can work towards improving protection mechanisms afforded this group of workers.

To read the proceedings of the workshop, please click here.

Proceedings of the Second Policy Dialogue of the Roles of Countries of Origin now available

From 16-17 September, Mekong Migration Network (MMN) organised the second Policy Dialogue on the Roles of Countries of Origin in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. More than 40 representatives from governments, civil society organisations (CSO), recruitment agencies’ associations from Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, the Embassies of the Republic of the Philippines and Japan in Phnom Penh, intergovernmental organisations, and international non-governmental organisations gathered to hear research findings from MMN’s most publication “Social Protection Across Borders: Roles of Mekong Countries of Origin in Protecting Migrants’ Rights” and discuss how countries of origin can expand their role in enhancing migrants’ access to social protection across borders. The Policy Dialogue took place in tandem with a Labour Ministerial Conference held on 17 September in Siem Reap between governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam (CLMTV) aimed at creating a joint framework on the portability of social security for migrant workers in CLMTV.

To read the proceedings of the second policy dialogue, click here.

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