Panel Discussion on Protecting Migrants’ Rights amid the Pandemic Downturn

                                                                                                                     (Photo Credit: MMN/John Hulme)

15 December 2020, 10:30-13:00 (Registration begins at 10:00)

Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT)

*The event is open to the public and will be conducted in English and Thai.

*Refreshments will be served at 12:30.

 

A. Background

The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the lives of people around the world. Migrants in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) are among the most affected given their limited access to social protection, lack of job security, and precarious immigration status. From the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, the Mekong Migration Network (MMN), a sub-regional network of civil society organisations working to promote and protect the rights of migrants in the GMS, has urged governments of countries of origin and destination to take immediate steps to protect and support the welfare of migrants and their families.[1] As part of our ongoing efforts, MMN pays close attention to policy developments in terms of how migrants are impacted by government responses to the pandemic. MMN member organisations who work within migrant communities, meanwhile, continue to provide much needed on-the-ground support, including the provision of information, food, and personal protective equipment to migrants, returnees and their families. Since July 2020, to better coordinate our efforts and amplify the voices of migrants during these difficult times, MMN has been conducting collaborative research on the impact of Covid-19 on the life decision-making of migrants.

On 15 December 2020, MMN will organise a Panel Discussion with key stakeholders, including representatives of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, civil society organisations from Thailand and Cambodia, and migrant workers impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. As part of the event, MMN will present the preliminary findings from our forthcoming research and facilitate a multi-stakeholder discussion on what lessons might be learnt from the decision-making of migrants during the pandemic.

The Panel Discussion will address the following questions and themes:

  1. What decisions have migrants, migrant returnees and their families made in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?
  2. What policies have the Royal Kingdom of Thailand implemented to provide labour and social protection to migrants during the pandemic?
  3. How have the countries of origin assisted its nationals impacted by the pandemic in Thailand?
  4. What can be done to strengthen labour and social protection for migrants in both the short and long term?

 

B. Agenda

Master of Ceremonies: Ms Pranom Somwong, MMN Consultant

10:00-10:30 Registration
10:30-11:30 Panel Discussion

1.      “What policies have the Royal Kingdom of Thailand implemented to provide labour and social protection to migrants during the pandemic?”, Mrs. Duangrat Ponggeeratiyut, Chief of Foreign Workers Work Permit Group 2, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour, the Royal Kingdom of Thailand

2.      “How has the Myanmar Labour Attaché assisted its nationals impacted by the pandemic in Thailand?”, A representative of the Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (To be confirmed)

3.      “Preliminary findings of the MMN research”, Ms. Reiko Harima, Regional Coordinator, Mekong Migration Network

4.      “What decisions have migrants made in light of the Covid-19 pandemic?”, a migrant representative

5.      “What are the responses by civil society organizations?”, Mr Brahm Press, Executive Director, MAP Foundation (Thailand) and MMN Steering Committee Chairperson

6.      Mr Sokchar Mom, Executive Director, Legal Support for Children and Women (Cambodia) and a former MMN Steering Committee Chairperson

12:00-12:30 Questions and Answers
12:30 End of the event

 

[1] See MMN, “MMN Statement on the Impact of Covid-19 on Migrants in the Greater Mekong Subregion”, 3 April 2020, accessible at http://www.mekongmigration.org/?p=8182; and

MMN, “MMN Statement on Supporting Migrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic”, 9 November 2020, accessible at http://www.mekongmigration.org/?p=18453.