Max Tunon, Senior Programme Officer / Coordinator of the GMS TRIANGLE project (Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation
Imagine that you had a family to feed and moving abroad was your only option to earn a decent wage — but you didn’t know where or how to find work overseas. Or imagine that your daughter works abroad but that you haven’t had any word from her for months and months.
Or ask yourself what you’d do if you were injured at work a long way from home, with a hospital bill you couldn’t afford and an employer who refused to pay you as much as you’d agreed.
Kuanruthai Siripatthanakol, National Project Coordinator (Thailand), GMS TRIANGLE Project
In an icy cold room in the fishing port of Samut Sakhon, a labour inspector reads over the payroll ledger of a small shrimp peeling shed. Most of the workers are from Myanmar and some of them appear to be very young. They are hesitant to discuss their situation with the inspectors, especially as their employer looks on. The ledger reveals discrepancies in the number of hours worked and payment of the daily minimum wage of 300THB (about US$ 9.15).
I’m here as part of a five-day training course for labour inspectors from the coastal provinces of Thailand.
In a hot and bustling Jakarta suburb, a group of young girls – and one boy – charm me with their songs, dances, messages, and laughter. Like other healthy teenagers around the world, they sing and dance to the music of Justin Bieber and Bollywood, text their friends and family, chatter about trends, their dreams and aspirations.
They are the lucky ones. They have a childhood – finally. Continue reading