World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) with the European Union (EU), Mahidol University, South East Asia Junction (SEA Junction), Mekong – ROK Cooperation Fund, World Vision-United Kingdom and Foundation for Rural Youth (FRY) have recently hosted the International Conference on “Birth Registration, Health, and Social Issues of Myanmar Migrants in Thailand” to provide a platform for exchange of critical information and valuable ideas on the condition of Myanmar migrants in Thailand. This event is honoured by His Excellency Mr Pirkka Tapiola, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to Thailand, who has provided a keynote speech “The Strategic Role of the European Union (EU) in Enhancing CSOs Contribution to Governance and Development Processes in Thailand” at Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University, Salaya Campus.
“If we compare the situation to 20 years ago, the number of migrant workers in Thailand has grown dramatically. This has been a consequence of a very positive development, resulting in the migration of labour workforce from the neighbouring countries to Thailand. The majority of migrant workers in Thailand are in the industrial sector. Due to their limitations, these migrant workers and their children have become vulnerable and unable to access the rights they deserve, including primary health service. Because of the lack of access to rights, migrants children are exposed to right violations and very likely to fall prey to abuse, violence and human trafficking,” His Excellency Mr Pirkka Tapiola gave a recap of the migrant situation in Thailand.
The international conference has been organised in the light of the “Empowering Civil Society Organisation for the Protection of Migrant Children (ECPMC)” project, funded by the European Commission, to ensure protection of migrant children’s rights and promote good health among migrant population, according to human rights. This 3-year initiative (2016 – 2019) aims to support and build the capacity of Thai CSO and CBO actors to ensure their contribution to implementation under Civil Registration Act (No. 2) BE 2551(2008) (CRA 2008) and the Regional Action Framework on Child Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), and thus migrant children can obtain Birth Registration (BR) and equity human rights, especially to health and education services.
Dr Sarawut Rachasrimuang, WVFT National Director added on ECPMC Project, “WVFT has established pilot Myanmar community coordinator leader groups in 3 provinces, Ranong, Chumphon and Tak (Mae Sot district), which are the areas with high density of migrant workers. More than 10 CSOs and CBOs have been promoted and supported to have understanding about the government services which migrant workers are entitled to, including birth registration, education and health insurance scheme, the knowledge to be passed on to the migrant population.”
Due to the previous year of ECPMC Project implementation carried out by WVFT, 301 children born from migrant workers obtained birth registration to ensure migrant children’s legal identity and access to proper rights. Further, the total of over 74,000 migrant workers in the project areas received knowledge on basic children’s rights and child protection.