Labour Rights

Despite the presence of national labour laws, labour standards in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) remain lax. When taking into account their types of work and migration statuses, migrant workers continue to be at particularly elevated risk of mistreatment and abusive practices. The experiences of migrant workers show that they do not consistently enjoy the same rights and access to entitlements as nationals of destination countries would. When violations take place, migrants have little recourse to justice, either while they are abroad or once they return home.

A worker at a factory in Yangon, Myanmar (Photo: MMN/ John Hulme)

MMN believes that all workers deserve decent work, a living wage, and equal rights and access to benefits, regardless of their nationality, race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation.

To realise this vision, MMN’s previous research has looked extensively into national labour rights laws and regulations in the GMS, as well as the experiences of workers (including migrants) across different employment sectors. Based on these findings, MMN brings attention to existing gaps in laws and policies and advocates with governments of destination countries and countries of origin, employers, investors, and other relevant stakeholders to improve and enforce rights-respecting measures. 

For a more in-depth understanding of working conditions in specific employment sectors, please refer to the webpages on Migrants in Agriculture, Migrants in Fishery and Special Economic Zones.

Related Initiatives

Further Reading

Legally Binding Online Tool

You will be redirected to the MMN Legally Binding online tool developed in 2011, which contains a summary of national labour laws in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Speaking of Migration Online Tool

You will be redirected to our Speaking of Migration online tool webpage developed in 2011, which contains explanations of key terms related to migration as well as terms to avoid.