Research to delve into migrant worker issues
THE first of two research drives focusing on issues faced by migrant workers and their families will begin in December, with data collection set to take place in Mandalay and Ayeyarwady regions as well as Rakhine and Shan states.
In a collaborative program between the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the UK-based University of Sussex, and the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, research will be conducted on migration, livelihoods and development.
The research will be funded by the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund.
IOM program manager Michiko Ito told The Myanmar Times on November 9 that there will be two rounds of data collection.
“We will conduct the research process twice. The first time, research will be conducted from December to January next year. We will conduct it simultaneously in the two regions and states. The second round of research will be conducted from May to July next year,” she said.
The initial plan had been for data collection to get under way this month.
“Our plan has been postponed for a while because we have to report about it to the relevant government organisations and gather people who will conduct the research,” said Ms Ito.
She said the research will include two methods for collecting data, adding that the work might take a long time in more remote areas of Rakhine and Shan states.
Researchers will study the effects of migrant labour on the workers themselves, on their families and on society at large. It is hoped this will give a clear idea about the development needs of rural areas, and help to devise poverty reduction initiatives.
The data gathered will be invaluable for forming a clear policy direction and strategy, Ms Ito said.
“People from Ayeyarwady and Mandalay regions mainly go abroad. In Rakhine State, migrant labour has increased in the last five years,” she said.
“We will collect data in detail – mainly on where migrant workers are going, how much income they have gotten, whether their families really get benefits and who takes responsibility in their places in their families.”
According to research by the International Labour Organization, 3.9 percent of Myanmar’s population went abroad to work in 2015.