So, contrary to an IOM survey presented last December, according to which "Most Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand would like to return home, and the country could face a shortage of over five million workers as a result by 2025," the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN) is now saying "Most Myanmar migrant workers have no desire to come back." According to Eleven Media (23 March, 2014):
Most Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand have not returned to Myanmar due to poor business and employment opportunities back home, sources from the Thailand-based Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN) say.
“There are very few migrant workers who want to return home and resettle there. The salaries they have in Thailand are not enough for them to return to Myanmar. Although their aim is to resettle back home after ten years of working in Thailand, they can’t save enough to do that,” said Kyaw Zaw Lynn, MWRN secretary and planning manager for the Network’s Yangon branch office.
However, added Kyaw Zaw Lynn, the migrant workers cannot support their families due to low salaries here. They say they will come back only if the salary in Myanmar is nearly equal to what they earn in Thailand.
“Myanmar workers rarely came back for visits to Myanmar before 2009. That was because they were illegally working in Thailand and they faced other problems such as threats to their lives and human trafficking. Moreover, the travel expense was so expensive. Since 2009, more Myanmar migrant workers have returned home because they have temporary passports and visas to work in Thailand officially,” he said.
Myanmar workers in Thailand have very few rights and are working for whatever salary the employers provide. They also face lack of job security in Thailand, and police are often threatening the workers to pay bribe fees.
Myanmar workers need to change their temporary passports into standard passports. However, they are facing other problems because the registration number for their insurance, driver’s licence, bank accounts and other documents issued for the temporary passports will be different from those issued for the standard passports.