Migrant labourers play a pivotal role in Thailand’s economy, yet regularly suffer abuse and are denied the workplace rights afforded to Thai nationals. A poll in July by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) found that 84 percent of Thais believe that unauthorised migrants have broken the law. More than three-quarters of Thailand’s migrant population is Burmese, the majority of whom worked in low-skilled industries where legal protection is scant. Their status there is precarious, and many eke out an existence on the fringes of Thailand society.

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