According to a Thai police source at the Three Pagodas Pass border town, from 50 to 100 migrant workers are crossing over from this border check point every day. Many return trips are arranged by service agents who issue permit letters from their employers and immigration authorities.

Migrant workers heading back home to Burma

Migrant workers pay varying fees depending on their destination, those who come from southern Thailand or Malaysia border pay about 4500 Baht, those from Surat pay 3500 Baht and those who come from Maharchai or Bangkok pay 3000 Baht.

“Many employers do not want to hire us. The rubber price has gone down 40 Baht per pound from 90 Baht and the wages are much lower. Many migrant workers living with their families on rubber plantation are often robbed and killed by local Thai Muslim gangs,” says Nai Gone of Pong Join village, Zobbu Township who came from southern Thailand.

“We suffer from discrimination by the local people and even the Thai media reports negatively about us. In this global downturn, the government program is only for local Thais and we are being thrown out,” Chan Ong, a migrant community leader from Bangkok said.

“The border area is busy with many people crossing back and forth. While many migrants are heading back home, others are entering Thailand because the situation is not good in Burma. There are no employment opportunities and human right violation continues,” said a villager from Halockanee Mon refugee camp. continue

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