Ms. Michelle Leighton, Chief of the Labour Migration Branch, International Labour Organization (ILO), along with other executives and working team, visited the EU Spotlight and ILO funded “Reaching women migrant workers and their families in construction camps” (REACH) project at Sansiri Precast Factory (PCF), Lam Lukka, Pathum Thani, implemented by World Vision Foundation of Thailand and Sansiri Public Company Limited, on February 6, 2023.
On the visit day, women migrant workers and their families received training on labour and women’s rights to grow awareness and understanding of the rights and benefits they are entitled to according to the labour law. This training addressed rights and entitlements, labour exploitation and other forms of abuse. Aside from the training, ILO, World Vision and Sansiri executives had a chance to meet with women migrant worker representatives.
Ms. Michelle Leighton, Chief of the Labour Migration Branch, ILO, talks about migrant workers: “Many migrant workers hope to have decent jobs, which is crucial for ILO. However, the first thing they must be aware of is their labour rights. Today, we saw how they learned about migrant workers’ rights and accessing social protection from the trainers who are health volunteers and also migrant workers. ILO is glad to partner with civil society organisations and the employers to make their hope real.”
The REACH project is a partnership between World Vision Foundation of Thailand (WVFT) and Sansiri Company Limited, funded by International Labour Organization (ILO) under the EU Spotlight Funded Safe and Fair Programme. The project aims to build understanding among women migrant workers and their families about the rights and benefits they are lawfully entitled to and improve women migrant workers and their families access to education, health services and labour rights. During this pilot phase, the initiative targets 10 construction camps under the management of Sansiri Company Limited in Bangkok, Samut Praken, Nonthaburi, and Pathum Thani.
Ms. Linfa Up-Patcha, Women and Children Affected by Migration Grants Manager, WVFT, says, “This training aims to equip women migrant workers in Thailand who are part of the nation’s workforce, with more knowledge and understanding about their rights and access to state-provided services, such as right to leave, social security, and health services. They will learn where and how to seek help when they fall sick or experience abuse.
Gi Go, a Myanmar women worker representative, says: “I knew nothing about labour rights and children’s rights. All I knew was about the minimum daily wage. For the first time today, I’ve learned so much useful knowledge, which I will pass on to other fellow workers too.”
Phyo, a Myanmar male worker representative, says: “Thanks to the training, I gained knowledge about the minimum wage and overtime pay, which I’ve not known about before. I’ll pass on the knowledge to my friends. They work hard from 7 am. to 7 pm. to earn meagre wages. Having learned about children’s rights, when I have kids, I’ll plan to save up to pay for their education. The knowledge is beneficial because we can apply it to make a plan for myself and my family.”
Mr. Samatcha Promsiri, Chief of Staff, Sansiri Co., Ltd., says: “We collaborate with WVFT to drive support for women migrant workers in Sansiri’s 10 construction camps because we’d like to set a model in the construction business, for other developers to come and realise the importance of labour rights. It takes a pilot intervention to jump start. Sansiri is ready to be part of the effort to drive this initiative and willing to conduct the pilot project to start raising the awareness within the industry and help equip workers with better knowledge about the rights they are entitled to.”
Dr. Sarawut Rachasrimuang, National Director of WVFT, adds: “World Vision is grateful for this partnership with Sansiri and ILO and for their leaders visiting the project area. It was crucial that they get to interact with the migrant workers and listen to their areas of concerns which will help in improving this project.
According to the MoU, WVFT and Sansiri agree to promote human rights in three areas: (1.) Labours’ Rights – rights to protection and case transfer, social security, health insurance, leaves, employment, wages, and OT pay; (2.) Women’s Rights – rights to equitable employment, violence-free treatment, and healthcare and reproductive health; (3.) Children’s Rights – rights to survival, development, protection, and participation.
Press contact: Wipawee Riwsuwan, World Vision Foundation of Thailand, call 08-1494-5498