UN Migration Agency, Thai Labour Ministry Launch Interpreter Handbook to Enhance Protection for Migrant Workers
Bangkok – Migrant workers in Thailand often have difficulty understanding their legal rights due to language barriers. Without adequate information, they face multiple challenges in seeking protection under the law and access to legal remedies.
To fill this gap, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has partnered with Thailand’s Ministry of Labour to develop a handbook targeting interpreters and Thai service providers.
The Interpreter Handbook for the Protection and Assistance of Migrant Workers, launched today (14/9), is the culmination of months of collaboration between the Ministry of Labour and IOM to build the capacity of interpreters and language coordinators working with migrants.
The first edition, available in Thai, covers protection-oriented principles, as well as details about the rights and duties of migrant workers, national labour protection laws and practical guidelines for interpretation.
Primarily developed for Ministry of Labour employees, the Handbook will be distributed to all Ministry-employed interpreters nationwide. But it will also be publicly available to other service providers, including NGO staff, public health professionals, social workers, lawyers and others who deal with migrants in the course of their work.
“While many positive initiatives have been undertaken to develop policies and administrative structures to better regulate labour migration flows, a lot of protection challenges remain, mainly due to language and cultural barriers. Interpreters play a vital role in helping migrant workers better understand their labour rights and the services available to them,” said IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek.
“This handbook is the result of the participation of all actors – the government, NGOs, the private sector, civil society – in a coordinated effort towards the sustainable protection of migrant workers’ rights,” said Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thai Ministry of Labour Petcharat Sin-auay.
Funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the Handbook is an initiative under the Migrant Assistance and Protection Programme (MAPP) – a counter-trafficking project implemented in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.