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China deports Myanmar migrant workers

June 11, 2013

CREDIT EMG 11.JUNE 2013

Myanmar migrant workers entering China using temporary boarder passes are being deported for over-staying, according to local immigration officials.

“Starting from early months of 2012, over 500 migrant workers have been detained in China deported back to Myanmar,” says Min Swe, an immigration officer from Muse border town.

The reasons for arrest and deportation are that migrant workers overstay their given period or attempt to travel beyond the limited area allowed to work. However, some are arrested because employers don’t want to pay their wages.

“When employers don’t want to pay the wage they inform the Chinese Police for arrest. A work permit (Green Book) is needed for Myanmar workers who want to work in China and they have to apply for that. Those who have that book in hand can work in China. Those who don’t have that book are being bullied,” says Min Swe.

On average 6000 to 7000 Myanmar migrants cross through Muse border town to work in China, a majority of them under temporary border passes. Most are youths between 20 and 40 years old who generally work in brick, battery and electronic factories earning between 5000 and 10,000 kyats per day.

Organisations against human trafficking and for the protection of labour rights have urged the Chinese authorities to open an office for the protection of foreign workers in China.

“If that office opens, the situation of Myanmar workers will be much better. We have requested them to give work permit books for Myanmar workers,” said migrant worker Shwe Li.

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