The Burmese migrants in Thailand livelihood is hopefully about to improve. The NGO ADRA has launched a project focusing on civil rights for the Burmese minority in Thailand. The project, valued at $905,871, will begin August 1 and is expected to continue for nearly five years. The Department for International Development (DFID), ADRA Norway, and ADRA United Kingdom are funding this project in partnership.
In Thailand, hundreds of thousands of Burma refugees, many of them women, who live near the Thai-Burmese border lack access to government supplied healthcare and other basic services because they are unaware of their need to apply for government registration or do not understand how to access it. This often leads to marginalization, discrimination and even abuse of the most vulnerable, says the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). To assist migrant women who have become vulnerable due to displacement, ADRA is launching a registration project that will help migrant women understand their legal rights so they may obtain registration documentation. This will in turn give them better access to basic health care, improved working conditions and fair compensation.
ADRA plans to also build the capacities of local grassroots civil society organizations (CSOs), who will advocate for and protect the rights of migrant women. ADRA expects to use existing migrant rights advocacy networks to influence change and reinforce existing migrant protection policies. Additionally, ADRA will work with employers, health care institutions, and the government to increase the recognition and enforcement of migrant women’s rights.
Recent reports indicate that there are more than 140,000 Burma refugees registered in camps inside Thailand along the Thai-Burmese border, however, according to Refugees International, up to 2 million other Burma migrants have also fled to Thailand, and continue to reside there, without legal status or with temporary migrant worker status. Few have been able to receive the assistance and protection they deserve and need.