Re­search to delve into mi­grant worker is­sues

The Myanmar Times - - News - KYAW KO KO kyawkoko@mm­ – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

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.

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