Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants


The Mekong Migration Network (MMN) proudly presents an Advocacy Paper, titled: “Permanently Temporary: Examining the Impact of Social Exclusion on Mekong Migrants.”

Migrant workers make a significant contribution to the socio-economic development of the Mekong

Sub-region and beyond. However, despite the crucial role migrants play in the functioning of the economy, governments of popular destination countries in Asia appear content to formulate policies based on the notion that migration is a purely temporary phenomenon.

How long is temporary? How long is it acceptable for migrants to be treated as permanent outsiders in the place where they have made their home?

This Advocacy Paper seeks to respond to these questions by unpacking the causes and impact of social exclusion on migrants in destination countries Thailand and Japan, and on migrant returnees in source countries Myanmar and Cambodia. It also aims to contribute a set of policy recommendations directed at each government that may lead to greater social inclusion for migrants and their families.

The paper is part of a wider project supported by the Toyota Foundation entitled, “Beyond ‘Tolerance’: Working Hand-in-Hand to Promote the Social Inclusion of Migrants and Their Families.” This paper draws on the interviews and narratives collected during four country visits to Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Japan conducted between March and July 2016 as part of this project.

It is hoped that this paper will help generate broader discussion on what needs to change so that we can go beyond “tolerance” and embrace the friendship and contributions migrants bring to society.

Published October 2016

To download the report, please click below.

Permanently Temporary_English [1.79 MB]

Permanently Temporary_Khmer [6 MB]

Permanently Temporary_Burmese [5 MB]

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