Flood-hit migrants extorted and abandoned

Burmese migrant workers fleeing floodwaters in Thailand are facing arrest, extortion and discrimination at the hands of Thai authorities.

Tens of thousands of migrants are thought to have been affected by Thailand’s worst flooding in 70 years, which struck in October.
With many struggling to access food and clean water after being left homeless and jobless by the flooding, thousands have attempted to flee back to Burma.
But Thai authorities have been accused of exploiting those attempting to leave.

And those for whom evacuation is not an option, trapped amongst newly formed swamps and road-rivers covering central Thailand, are facing discrimination from those handing out relief.

Over 650,000 people in the country have been left jobless by the floods, and as authorities battle to reach the huge numbers of Thais affected, migrant workers are not the priority.

The money from migrant jobs in Thailand helps feed millions of deprived people back inside Burma every day, and migrant workers are a crucial part of Thailand’s economy. But even when the floodwaters eventually subside there is no certainty they will still have jobs to return to.

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