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Migrant workers in Thailand mark international migrants' day

Dec 19, 2007 (DVB), Burmese migrant worker associations based in the Thai towns of Mae Sot, Bangkok and Phan Nga held events yesterday to commemorate international migrants' day.

In the Thai-Burma border town of Mae Sot, around 300 people attended the event.

Ko Moe Kyoe, leader of one of the migrant worker groups, said he hoped they could raise awareness of the situation of migrant workers.

"We held this event yesterday to raise awareness of situation of Burmese migrant workers who choose to come to Thailand for various reasons," he said.

"We want to raise awareness among the Thai government, business owners, migrant workers from other countries such Laos and Cambodia and also international governments."

Forty people from various workers' organisations attended the event in Bangkok, while 100 were present at the Phan Nga celebration.

Burmese workers make up the majority of those employed in many of the factories, rubber plantations and in the fishing industry in Phan Nga.

One migrant construction worker said he was relieved to be able to raise important issues.

"In our own country we don't have a chance to speak up about things like this," he said.

International Migrants Day commemorates the adoption of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families on 18 December 1990.

Reporting by DVB

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