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  • Writer's pictureManushya Foundation

The Migrant Community, including workers and LGBTIQ+ persons, still at the margins of Thai society!

🧳 On International Migrants Day, 18 December, we take a look at #WhatsHappeningInThailand for the migrant community. Despite making up 10% of the country’s labour force, they find themselves vulnerable to human rights violations & are also one of the groups most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more 👇

🚨 Migrant workers face numerous barriers in registering themselves and accessing legal status in Thailand. Many prefer using irregular channels to enter Thailand, making them risk arrest and deportation. Others have to go through often abusive middlemen to help with the legal processes, making them vulnerable to debt bondage, a form of modern slavery.

📍 There is no Thai legislation protecting migrants’ rights and migrant workers can not freely choose their employment. Migrant children’s right to education is not upheld as more than half are not in school due to their families’ financial situation.

⚠️ Migrant workers are particularly at risk of human trafficking. Widespread corruption and official complicity hinder the fight against human trafficking in Thailand, and human trafficking victims often face many barriers in accessing any form of justice or help.

🏳️‍🌈 Due to the intersection of their sexual identity and migrant status, LGBTIQ+ migrants face even more harassment and discrimination in detention centers and often find themselves in severe social isolation.

😷 Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for migrant workers in Thailand, as they were some of the first to lose their jobs during the lockdown, were mostly unable to get any form of financial help from the government, nor access COVID-19 vaccines and proper health services. The Thai government has also been stigmatizing them in the eye of the public by labeling them as “COVID-19 carriers”.

📣 Parts of these issues were put forward and addressed during the CERD (UN Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination) Review which examined Thailand’s human rights record regarding racial discrimination and during Thailand’s third UPR (Universal Periodic Review) in November 2021.

✊ Thailand was finally held accountable and now has to keep its promises to:

  • Take all measures necessary to combat the intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination, including this form of discrimination against LGBTI migrants

  • Protect rights of migrant workers, including education of migrant children, healthcare or access to social services

  • Eliminate prejudices and negative stereotypes, including against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers

#WeAreManushyan - Equal Human Beings

Share this with your network to ensure the world knows about #WhatsHappeningInThailand!

👉🏼 Access the Joint CERD Shadow Report in Thailand here.

👉🏼 Access the UPR Advocacy Factsheet on Migrant Workers in Thailand here.

🎨 Design: @estelle.dao


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