Development is often a two-sided sword that wields both benefits and issues. “Migrant worker” is no longer a novel term after being featured so much by the media of Hong Kong and China in the stories of developments. Kunming is one of the main destinations in where farmers wish to improve their living conditions and search for new opportunities, often bringing their children along with them. However, harsh truths await them behind the dreams. Without proper household registration, the migrant children could not access education, medical, and social security benefits. Busy parents lack the time to stay with their children, and the majority of the families could not afford private schools. Under such circumstances, migrant children are likely to inherit the poverty status of their families.
The negative effect of poverty often spans across generations. Farmers who migrated to the cities for better opportunities usually find themselves experiencing the same hardships, only in different forms, while putting their children in a specific set of challenges.
Kunming is the destination of a large migrant worker population. Children who migrated with their parents are often very young and suffer from the transition from rural areas to cities. They are often being segregated over their status, and are excluded from the local education, medical, and residential benefits due to the ownership of foreign household registrations. Schools are less likely to admit them, and even if the family could afford the high tuition, the children might not adapt to the different education model so easily. Busy parents lack the time to stay with their children, which aggravates the situation. There are numerous cases where children are being hurt in traffic accidents, drowning, and robbery each year.
Thailand holds thousands of migrant children in detention each year, causing them physical and emotional harm, Human Rights Watch said in a report released in early September. Child migrants and asylum seekers are unnecessarily held in squalid immigration facilities, suffering in filthy, overcrowded cells without adequate nutrition, education, or exercise space.
[ePrayer – Pray for the migrant workers in Northern Thailand]
The National Verification Programme of Thai government, requesting local illegal migrant workers to verifying their identities has been finished. From Next February to May, the Burmese government will then start issuing temporary passports to those illegal workers in Thailand. The decision is part of the plan by Thailand and Myanmar to end illegal migrant workers from Myanmar. According to the Thai Labour Minister, there are 266,677 workers from Myanmar and Laos, did not verify their nationality to Thai government within the December deadline.
Pray for the migrant workers in Northern Thailand:
Pray for CEDAR’s local partner MMF as they provide legal support to Burmese migrant workers on issues related to work permits & registration, processing labour disputes and reconciliation;
Pray for Wisdom and protection on MMF migrant team as they made regular visit to give care, advice and counseling to workers in their homes and at their work sties. Many face family & social issues within the migrant communities;
Pray that 25 young migrant children at the Learning Centre will receive basic care and develop spiritually and emotionally.