Working Under Threat
As Burmese women have crossed Myanmar’s southeastern border to pursue undocumented domestic work in Thailand, the attractiveness of relatively high wages has been offset by the threat of exploitation at the hands of their employers. The lack of legislation protecting foreign domestic workers has left them vulnerable to mobility restrictions, overworking, and isolation. Migrant advocacy groups struggle to connect with the women, who are housed in private homes and prevented from participating in the public sphere. Voice of America provides a brief look at some of the challenges the women face while seeking opportunity across the border.
View the video on VOA News’s YouTube channel.
Four Hong Kong booksellers featuring work critical of Communist Party go missing
- The four men are believed to have been detained in China after having traveled from Hong Kong to Thailand and Mainland China, though they have been unable to report their location.
- The men work for Sage Communications, a company that has published titles critical of the Chinese president and Communist elite.
- The detention comes as Beijing continues encroaching upon free press in Hong Kong, having bought up a major publishing house in the city earlier in the year.
“Independent Hong Kong Book-Sellers Missing, Believed Detained” (Radio Free Asia)
“Four Hong Kong publishers known for books critical of Chinese regime missing” (The Guardian)
“Hong Kong Bookstores Display Beijing’s Clout” (The New York Times)
(Image Credit: Sage Communications, via Radio Free Asia)
Thai surrogate attempts to block departure of gay couple with infant
- A U.S.-Spanish binational couple has retreated to a secret location with their infant daughter after the surrogate they contracted through a Thai surrogacy agency refused to sign the papers for the child’s passport.
- The woman alleges she was unaware the child was going to a gay couple and is not obligated to turn over her rights to the couple, despite contracts regulating the process and her lack of biological connection to the child.
- After the present situation’s process had already begun, surrogacy was banned in Thailand following high-profile scandals that drew attention to the largely unregulated industry.
“She said she thought she was doing this for an ‘ordinary family’ and when she found out that it wasn’t an ordinary family she was worried for Carmen’s wellbeing.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
(Image Credit: Gordon Lake/Facebook, via the Guardian)
More than 170 Uyghurs resettled in Turkey following release from Thai detention camp
- The 173 released–all Uyghur women and children–had been detained for more than a year by Thai immigration authorities.
- The group is a part of a wave of ethnic Uyghurs fleeing their homeland in northwestern China because of the government’s crackdown on their culture and activities.
- Those seeking exit from China rely on underground networks that take them through southeast Asia, where Thailand is a major node in smuggling routes.
“China deprives them of their human dignity, their human rights, and religious freedom in every possible way, so they head to Turkey to live like human beings.”
Read the full story at Radio Free Asia.
(Image Credit: Radio Free Asia)
Ethnic minority women from Thailand’s mountains find difficulties in adjustment and opportunity in the country’s urban centers
- Government and international efforts to crackdown on deforestation, rebel territories, and drug production have driven many of Thailand’s “hill people” into the cities.
- There, women in particular often find labor only in fruit and flower preparation or selling embroidery, which provide uneven wages at or below subsistence levels and renders women vulnerable to trafficking.
- With little money for services, community members often rely on religious institutions for service provisions including identity card acquisition assistance and schooling for children.
“It’s better to live in the city. We don’t have land to farm in the mountains. If we had land in the mountains, I would prefer to live there.”
More on this story at Equal Times.
(Image Credit: Konstantina Vasileva, via Equal Times)
The NY Times has published a graphically enhanced look at the global migration crisis that is being called the worst since World War II
- 38 million have been displaced within their own countries, while 16.7 million refugees have fled internationally.
- Roughly 11 million Syrians and 3 million Iraqis have been internally displaced, while 4 million Syrians have left the country, straining the intake abilities of neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
- Approximately 25,000 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants have been trafficked via sea in Southeast Asia, some finding conditional acceptance in Indonesia and Malaysia and others being repatriated.
- To date, around 78,000 have traveled across the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa and Turkey, fleeing violence, persecution, and poor economic prospects in North, West, and East Africa.
- Finally, the conflict in Ukraine has displaced 1.3 million inside the country and sent 867,000 abroad, mostly to Russia with few European countries willing to accept them.
More on this story at The New York Times.