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Mekong Migration Network statement on the Outbreak of COVID-19 among Migrant Workers in Samut Sakhon January 04,2021   |  Source: MMN

The recent spike in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections recorded in and around Samut Sakhon is alarming to the Mekong Migration Network (MMN) on multiple levels. We are particularly concerned about the potential negative impact of Prime Minister, Prayut Chan-o-cha’s remark that this latest flare up is primarily due to “illegal immigrants” who “have brought much grief to the country”. This follows the earlier comment by the Minister of Public Health, Anutin Charnvirakul that “the source is likely migrant workers”.

Rather than seeking a scapegoat, the current outbreak, centred on Samut Sakhon’s Central Shrimp Market, brings into sharp focus the disproportionate impact that the pandemic is having on the livelihood and health of Thailand’s much maligned migrant workers. The seafood industry in Samut Sakhon, like elsewhere in Thailand, is hugely dependent on the low paid labour of migrants from Myanmar and Cambodia who live and work in conditions where physical distancing and recommended hygiene measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are largely absent. In recent research conducted by MMN member, The Raks Thai Foundation, which included respondents from Samut Sakhon’s seafood industry, migrants reported that very few employers imposed social distancing rules,


© 2021 – Mekong Migration Network

Theme(s): Communities and Organisations.

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