Long familiar with the tiny gains and vicious crashes brought on by political shocks, workers in Myanmar now face insurmountable hardships as the fourth year post-coup gets underway. People must now decide either to shelter in place with no end in sight, or face down unknown conditions as migrant workers overseas. Young garment factory workers share their experiences from Yangon and Samut Prakarn, in neighbouring Thailand.
Shoddy concrete structures connected to the military have become a common and menacing sight in Myanmar. These pillboxes are being used by the military as watchtowers and strongholds from which they can erratically impose invasive checks on civilians, subjecting them to bullying, intimidation and arbitrary arrest.
BANGKOK // On Dec. 24, Thailand will host its first social security board election. Close to one million workers from Myanmar, who contribute equally to this multi-million dollar fund, are not allowed to participate. A Thai migrant worker rights advocate is running to represent Myanmar nationals and will be listed as a candidate.
SEPTEMBER 28th, 2023 // Amidst the sound of fire falling from the sky, they packed a few days’ worth of food and some clothes and headed for a place in the outskirts of Demoso, Karenni state. That departure from their house was the beginning of Yuri Soe’s family’s journey to escape the war.
Following the military coup in 1962 by General Ne Win, millions of people from Myanmar fled on-going civil conflicts to seek safety in neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Bangladesh, China, India, and mostly in Thailand, where half of the diaspora are living for five decades.