Migration within Myanmar and across its long borders, which cover Thailand, Laos, China, India and Bangladesh, is subject to a range of drivers which are complex and are critical in affecting how and why people decide to move.

Regionally, Myanmar has grown to be the largest migration source country in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Regionally, drivers of migration can include higher wages in neighbouring countries, conflict and environmental migration due to natural disasters among other factors.

The protection of migrants within Myanmar and in their destination countries is a national priority for the Government. Migrants are often vulnerable to poorer health access and treatment and IOM works with the Myanmar Government and a range of international and local partners to improve migrant health outcomes. Migrants, whether travelling regularly or irregularly can become victims of trafficking and smuggled migrants who are exposed to abuses such as extortion, debt bondage and physical exploitation.

However, the majority of migrants do not experience these issues. Migration brings huge benefits, fuelling growth and innovation in both their host and source countries. Myanmar migrants in the region send large amounts of remittances which help boost the economy, much of it through unofficial channels. 

Promoting the mainstreaming of migrant issues into Government policy and programmes, building capacity of our partners and ensuring effective advocacy and protection of Myanmar migrants are national priorities for the management migration in Myanmar.