Nay Pyi Taw – “Information is power”; that was the central message at the premiere of IOM X’s Make Migration Work video series yesterday (07/05). 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 IOM Myanmar’s “Miss Migration” Facebook page.

IOM X is a campaign to prevent human trafficking and exploitation led by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

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 who seek information before they migrate usually have more successful experiences,” said Tara Dermott, IOM X Programme 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 videos are in Burmese, with running time of under four minutes each.

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. You can view the Make Migration Work video series at IOMX.org/mm.

FACTS ABOUT MIGRATION IN MYANMAR

  • 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 USD 1.85 billion sent home 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 USD 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 USD 275-585, although some migrants pay as little as USD 3 to cross into Thailand irregularly. [6]
  • Many migrants cannot pay migration fees up front and as a result go into debt. On average, Myanmar migrants end up with a debt of around USD 300-500. Often, migrants are not aware of the full extent of their debt or how long they need to repay it. [7]

ENDNOTES

[1] IOM Myanmar, General Information – Overview. Available from www.iom.int/countries/myanmar.
[2] IOM Myanmar, General Information – Overview. Available from www.iom.int/countries/myanmar.
[3] Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 103-105.
[4] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 108.
[5] IOM X, Baseline Study: IOM X Roadshow Myanmar (October 2017 – forthcoming).
[6] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 137.
[7] UNODC, Trafficking in Persons from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar to Thailand (2017), pp. 138