IOM Opens Three Migrant Resource Centres in Myanmar
Myanmar - IOM has collaborated with the Government of Myanmar to launch three Migrant Resource Centres (MRCs) designed to meet the needs of migrant workers at source and transit areas in Myanmar.
Two of the facilities are located in Mawlayine and Hpa-An in southeast Myanmar close to the Thai border. A third is in Magway in Myanmar’s central ‘Dry Zone’, close to the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. The MRCs are supported by the IOM Development Fund.
Operating in close collaboration with Myanmar’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, the new MRCs are co-located in the Ministry’s Labour Exchange Offices (LEOs) in each city.
Myanmar’s network of 77 LEOs countrywide already have a range of functions related to helping workers to seek employment in Myanmar and abroad, including advertising vacancy notices and issuing labour cards for the domestic market.
Other services to be offered at the newly launched MRCs will include conducting outreach on safe migration among local communities in migration source areas; offering individual counseling and job advice to potential migrants; and serving as a hub for returned migrants and their family members to register complaints relating to over-charging, unfair treatment or exploitation by unscrupulous job brokers, recruitment agencies or employers.
Speaking at the launch of the MRC in Hpa-An, Myanmar’s Deputy Minister of Labour U Htin Aung said: “Migrant workers are a resource for both sending and receiving countries. However, due to lack of information on safe migration, many use irregular channels to seek employment abroad. We have established these MRCs to promote legal migration.”
IOM Myanmar Chief of Mission Kieran Gorman-Best, speaking at the opening of the MRC in Magway noted: “I hope that these new services will eventually be a collection of services offered not only by the Department of Labour, but also by other government departments, civil society and social service providers. Over time, I am convinced that we will be able to offer more services, working with more partners.”
IOM plans to launch two more MRCs in Myanmar in January 2015. One will be located in Yangon and aimed at serving regular migrants seeking employment in Malaysia, Singapore and East Asia. A fifth MRC is planned for the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border crossing between Myanmar and Thailand.
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