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Myanmar Warns for Action against Agencies for Seizing Worker’s Documents

February 25, 2013

Overseas employment agencies face heightened scrutiny and those that fall short of their contractual obligations or the law will be penalised, Deputy Minister Myint Thein warned the Federation of Overseas Employment Agencies on Sunday.


His sharp words followed a recent visit by ministry staff to Thailand’s northern city of Chiang Mai to investigate working and living conditions of Myanmar migrant workers there. They found that many did not have passports or work identification cards and that some did not even have copies of the documents.

“Employment agencies will have to face the consequences of their absence of accountability,” Myint Thein told the federation. He also urged its members to show greater caution when sending workers to Thailand and Malaysia.

The ministry has been working to ensure that workers from Myanmar in Thailand receive the documents they need to work in that country legally. It has approved documents for 1.23 million workers, while another 1.2 million remain undocumented.

There are an estimated 2.5 million migrant workers from Myanmar in Thailand, about half of them illegal. Myanmar has 159 registered overseas employment agencies

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