MMN Workshop on Migration Trends and Responses in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Beyond, 30-31 August 2010, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Mekong Migration Network (MMN) in collaboration with MAP Foundation and Asian Migrant Centre organized the Workshop on Migration Trends and Responses in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Beyond on 30-31 August 2010, Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Workshop was attended by more than 50 participants most of whom are MMN members.

There have been a number of changes in responses to migration in the GMS in the last 10 years, including signing of Thailand-Laos, Thailand-Cambodia, Thailand-Burma MOUs on Employment Cooperation in 2002-3, Thai government’s response by issuing series of Thai Cabinet resolutions to register migrants who are already working inside the country, and migrant’s home countries allowing recruitment agencies to send workers legally to Thailand, etc.

While there are increasing government efforts to regulate migration in the GMS on one side, there is continued oppression of migrants on the other.

With this background, the MMN found it important and timely to look back migration policies, issues and responses in the GMS of the past decade to learn from the experiences of the past and also to identify what they mean for the coming decade. To help migrant advocates in the GMS, particularly the MMN members make an informed planning, the second half of the workshop progam was dedicated to reviewing the global trends.

The Workshop objectives:

1) To learn from the experiences of the past decade regarding migration responses in the GMS;
2) To broaden awareness on migration issues in the GMS by exploring global trends; and
3) To identify emerging issues to inform the MMN’s future initiatives.

The Workshop program:

Opening Remarks: Jackie Pollock, Chairperson, MMN Steering Committee (PDF 50KB)

Plenary 1: “Review of the migration policies, issues, and responses in the GMS of the last decade: National, Bilateral and Regional Level”

a) Changes in policies and issues in the host country of migrants: Thailand
Ms. La-or Kaewniyom
Chief of the Foreigner Working System Development Section, the Office of Foreign Workers Administration, Department of Employment, Ministry of Labour, Royal Thai Government

b) Changes in policies and issues in the country of migrants’ origin: Cambodia (PDF 452KB)
Mr. Chuop Narath
Deputy Director of the Department of Labour and Vocational Training, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Focal Point for the Implementation of the ASEAN Declaration, Royal Cambodian Government

c) Impact of policy and issue changes on migrants
Mr. Jai Sak and Ms. Ma May Htoo
d) Good Governance of Migration: ILO Framework and its Implication for the GMS (PDF 142KB)
Mr. Pracha Vasuprasat
Director, Japan Project on Managing Cross Border Labour in the Southeast Asia, International Labour Organisation

Summary of discusion following Plenary 1 (PDF 28KB)

Small group discussion: Mapping the impact of key changes in migration policies and issues (PDF 44 KB)

a) What have been the key changes for migrants in terms of exercising their rights?
b) What have been the gains and setbacks in terms of providing services for migrants and/or migrants’ accessing services? (health care, legal justice system with interpreters, education, support for integration etc)
c) Identify gaps and limitation of policies

Activity (Market place) : What are key changes needed?

Plenary 2: “Global issues that impact migration”

a) Environment and migration: damming on rivers in Burma and its link to migration (PDF 915KB)
Mr. Sai Sai
Coordinator, Burma Rivers Network

a) Globalisation/economic integration and migration (PDF 18KB)
Ms. Chanida Chanyapate Bamford
Dierctor, Focus on the Global South

b) Conflicts and migration (PDF 626KB)
Ms. Khin Ohmar
Coordinator, Burma Partnership

Summary of discusion following Plenary 2 (PDF 19KB)

Small group discussion: Linkages between the global trends and migration in the GMS (PDF 11KB)

Plenary 3: “Global trends in responses to migration”

a) Migration and Development (PDF 1.5MB)
Mr. Rex Varona
Programme Coordinator, Asian Migrant Centre

b) Portability
Ms. Jackie Pollock
Director, MAP Foundation
Chairperson, MMN Steering Committee

c) Security (PDF 93KB)
Mr. Phil Robertson
Deputy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch

Summary of discussion following Plenary 3 (PDF 17KB)

WS group photo 2.JPG presentation 2 a.JPG discussion 1 a.JPG presentation 1 a.JPG

activity 2 a.JPG small group 2 a.JPG activity 1 a.JPG small group 1 a.JPG

The views expressed in the these summaries and presentation files are the views of the presenters and participants. They do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the MMN or its member organizations.