MMN’s Myanmar National Training on Responses to Labour Migration

From 29 August to 2 September 2016, the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) in collaboration with MMN member organization 88 Generation Peace and Open Society facilitated a national-level training on migration, titled: “Myanmar National Training on Responses to Labour Migration.”

22 participants representing 18 organizations travelled from across Tanintharyi Region, Bago Region, Ayeyarwady Region, Yangon Region, Rakhine State, Shan State, Mon State, and Karen State to attend the 5-day training in Yangon.

Participating organizations included trade unions, women’s unions, and civil society organizations (CSOs) working to promote the rights of workers, women, local rural and urban communities, migrants, and migrant returnees across the country.

Facilitated by representatives of Empower Foundation and the Foundation for Education and Development (FED) – two Thailand-based MMN member organizations – the training sought to create a space to share information on labour migration issues within Myanmar and the Mekong Subregion and generate discussion on possible collaborative advocacy actions.

Over the course of the week, the trainers facilitated participatory activities to expand participants’ understanding of different types of movement and migration trends in the region, as well as their ability to critically analyze national and regional migration policies and the role of embassies, labour attachés, and other stakeholders.

Highlights of the training included:

  • Engaging with representatives from the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) and International Labour Organization (ILO) during a panel discussion and critically reflecting on their presentations;
  • Learning how to write press releases, reports to CSOs, and statements to the government and having these pieces critiqued by professional writers and journalists from 7 Days News; and
  • Planning for and carrying out an advocacy action on regular and irregular migration by preparing brochures and distributing them to students at the Yangon University of Education.

Participants of the training will have the opportunity to visit either Thailand or Cambodia in November and December 2016 to engage with like-minded organizations, migrant workers, Myanmar consulates or embassies, and Migrant Resource Centers to learn more about labour migration and available supports to migrants in both destination and origin countries. A final consultation will be held in Yangon in December to share findings from the country visits and discuss possible future avenues for collaboration.

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