Labor

Severance pay remains a struggle for Southeast Asian workers

Garment workers at Thailand’s Brilliant Alliance factory were granted leave, only to learn their employer had shut down when they returned to their worksite in early March 2021.  “Everyone was abandoned and never went back to work, there was nothing from the company about compensation,” said ...

JACK BROOK

US Adds Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei to Human Trafficking Blacklist

Human trafficking worsened considerably in Southeast Asia in 2021, with the United States government adding Vietnam, Cambodia, and Brunei to its trafficking in persons blacklist and downgrading Indonesia. In this year’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP)  report, released on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department scrutinized 188 nations’ efforts ...

Sebastian Strangio

Myanmar state of affairs worsening, ETI warns businesses

In a position statement, the ETI points to a Commission of Inquiry into the decline of workers’ rights in Myanmar established by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in March, noting such a move is the ILO’s highest-level investigative procedure which is generally set up when a member state ...

Hannah Abdulla

As road accidents rise, garment workers face a dangerous commute

Early on the morning of 12 February while heading to her shift at the garment factory in Kampong Speu province, Soth Vy was the last of about 40 workers to climb onto the standing platform of the truck that came to her village. She enjoyed ...

ASHLEY HUI YIN TAN

OPINION: Thai agriculture needs reform from ground up

Thailand’s government badly wants the middle-income country to achieve advanced economy status. But it will fail unless it raises agricultural productivity and upskills rural workers for jobs in more productive sectors. This will demand hitherto unseen political commitment. For decades, political leaders have paid lip service ...

Craig Keating

Striking casino workers stand against crackdown

Chhim Sithar knew she would be arrested when she arrived at the site of a protest organised by employees of the NagaWorld casino.  Police violently grabbed and arrested the union leader when she attempted to join the demonstration by striking workers in Phnom Penh on 4 ...

JACK BROOK

Sex workers have long been disapproved of in Thailand. Now they are calling for their billion-dollar industry to be recognised

It is hard to imagine, but Pattaya’s near-deserted “Walking Street” used to teem with revellers, as pulsating music filled the air and neon lights flashed until the early hours. Before the pandemic, the coastal city south-east of Bangkok was a buzzing party scene, and was once described by the Lonely Planet travel ...

South-East Asia correspondent Mazoe Ford and Supattra Vimonsuknopparat

Outbreak fears as Mekong Delta struggles with returning migrant workers

With the Mekong Delta laboring under large quarantining burdens as migrants return from the southeast region in the thousands, officials fear outbreaks if the localities’ capabilities are stretched. An Giang Province, for instance, had more than 15,000 migrant workers return on motorbikes over the past three ...

Cuu Long, Ngoc Tai

Thailand Starts Factory Worker Vaccine Drive to Protect Exports

Thailand has launched a pilot program to test, vaccinate and isolate factory workers to limit Covid-related disruptions to its export-driven manufacturing industry, one of the few bright spots in an economy crushed by the virus.  The “Factory Sandbox” initiative aims to protect 3 million jobs and ...

Randy Thanthong-Knight

ILO forecasts slow jobs recovery in ASEAN region

Working hours in the ASEAN region are projected to only partially recover in 2021 and 2022 according to new research by the International Labour Organization (ILO). COVID-19 and the ASEAN labour market: Impact and policy response highlights the heavy impact of the pandemic on ASEAN economies ...

KPL

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