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IOM X PREMIERES VIDEO SERIES FOR MYANMAR MIGRANTS

NAY PYI TAW, MYANMAR, 7 MAY 2018 – Information is power. That was the main message at the premiere of IOM X’s Make Migration Work video series today. The short dramas illustrate why it pays to seek information and guidance before migrating, and provide different ways that people can do this, including through the IOM Myanmar Miss Migration Facebook page.

 

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation. The Make Migration Work video series was produced in partnership with the Myanmar Government’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, and aligns with national efforts to increase Myanmar migrants’ access to information through Labour Exchange Offices and Migrant Resource Centres, which also feature in the videos.

 

“Migrants that seek information before they migrate usually have more successful experiences,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Program Leader. “But finding trustworthy information is not always easy. Recognizing that more and more people in Myanmar are accessing the internet every day, through IOM X’s Make Migration Work series, we are showing potential migrants how a visit to a Migrant Resource Centre or how a query posted to Miss Migration on Facebook may make the difference between a good or bad experience for themselves and their families.”

 

The eight-video Make Migration Work series comprises four stories, each told from two different perspectives.

 

The first story is about toy factory worker Cho Zin and her daughter Khet Khet Su. Left widowed at an early age, Cho Zin decides to leave her mother in charge of her daughter when she migrates to work in a toy factory. Not wanting her migration to be for naught, Cho Zin and her mother create a budget for Khet Khet Su’s education with the money sent home.

 

In the second story, Zayar Htun enjoys a successful migration experience after visiting a Migrant Resource Centre. His motivation for seeking out safe migration information was influenced by close friend Kyam Lynn’s bad migration experience, where he was cheated out of all of his money by an unlicensed broker.

 

The third story is about Yin May, a migrant worker in a hotel. Before migrating, she and her father Saw Aye went online for information about the type of documents she needed to migration. After she left, Saw Aye kept a copy of her documents safe in the village.

 

The fourth story sees Nay Lin leave his village after a fight with his father. Despite the sudden decision to migrate, Nay Lin takes the time to attend a pre-departure orientation where he learns about working abroad and how to protect himself from exploitative employers. His mother Mint Mint Kyi misses him terribly, but is relieved that he took precautions against exploitation before he left.

IOM Myanmar's Miss Migration Facebook page points visitors to reliable safe migration information online. The page includes an easy-to-use chat function that guides users through a series of topics related to migration and directs them to the specific information they are looking for.

 

Most Myanmar nationals migrate for better economic opportunities. The Myanmar National Census estimates that 4.25 million Myanmar nationals migrated abroad in 2014.[1] There is also vast internal migration with around 9.4 million Myanmar nationals migrating within the country, accounting for around 17 per cent of the population.[2]

 

The majority of remittances received from Myanmar come from Thailand, with a total of US$1.85 billion being remitted from Thailand in 2015. On average, Myanmar migrants in Thailand remit between USD$150-3,100 a year.[3] Based on a study of two regions in Myanmar, internal migrants remit an average about US$300 per year.[4]

 

A recent survey of over 1,000 Myanmar nationals in Yangon in September 2017 showed that only 53 per cent of respondents were aware that they needed a passport, work visa and a contract to migrate to another country for work.[5]

 

Costs of arranging irregular migration (including transportation) range between US$275-585, although some migrants pay as little as US$3 to cross into Thailand irregularly.[6] Many migrants cannot pay migration fees up front, leading them to go into debt. On average, Myanmar migrants end up with a debt of around US$300-500. Often, migrants are not aware of the full extent of their debt and how long they need to repay this.[7]

 

Migrating irregularly makes people far more vulnerable to exploitation as they fear legal repercussions and so are often too fearful to inform authorities when experiencing exploitation.

 

View the Make Migration Work video series at IOMX.org/mm

 

Miss Migration is a Facebook chat bot that answers questions about migration. Visit Facebook.com/MissMigration

MEDIA CONTACTS

 

Mia Barrett

IOM X Communication and PR Officer

+66 84 705 2114

 

Ral Kap Tluang (Steven)

IOM Myanmar Project Assistant

09261770841

 

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About IOM X

IOM X is the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

The campaign leverages the power and popularity of media and technology to inspire young people and their communities to act against human trafficking. IOM X moves beyond raising awareness to effecting behaviour change by applying a Communication for Development (C4D), evidenced-based and participatory framework to tailor messaging for its activities.

The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Learn more at IOMX.org