On 19 December 2016, MMN held an assessment meeting in Yangon, Myanmar. The objective of the meeting was to evaluate the MMN’s Myanmar National Training on Responses to Labour Migration, facilitated in early September in Yangon, and the Burma/Myanmar civil society organization (CSO) country visits to Thailand and Cambodia, carried out throughout November and December, as well as to discuss possible areas for future collaboration and joint advocacy.
Facilitated by representatives of EMPOWER Foundation – a Thailand-based MMN member organization – and the MMN Secretariat, the assessment involved the CSO representatives who participated in both the training and country visits.
Overall, the meeting participants stated that they were satisfied with each of the activities, in part, due to gaining a deeper understanding of migration-related issues. Participants exclaimed that the five-day national training increased their knowledge of labour migration purposes, channels, and policies in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. In addition, they felt that the country visits to Thailand and Cambodia furthered their understanding of the reality of migration as a result of discussions with migrant communities and CSOs engaging directly with migrant workers and their families. These interactions helped reveal major push factors of labour migration, such as economic hardship, and the challenges that accompany migration, including obtaining documentation and securing migrant children’s education. Participants expressed that they not only learned more about migration-related issues through these activities, but also about effective awareness raising and advocacy strategies from interacting with like-minded CSOs. Moreover, participants declared that the national training helped to improve their statement writing, campaign organizing, and panel discussion facilitation skills.
Suggestions that surfaced from the evaluation session included MMN facilitating future trainings on: advocacy, campaigning, networking, organizational management skills, research skills, and Mekong labour migration policies. Participants also discussed the possibility of collectively raising awareness on safe migration processes and working to provide a safe space and employment opportunities for migrant returnees. Facilitating pre-departure trainings in rural areas and industrial zones across Burma/Myanmar was also mentioned. The session concluded with participants expressing their desire to collaborate with MMN again in the future.