ASEAN’s Migrant Worker Clusters

According to think tank, the Institute for Human Rights and Business, across Southeast Asia, an estimated 10 million migrant workers live and work in major destinations such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. 

Malaysia is home to around two million documented migrant workers, comprising about 15 percent of the country’s total workforce. In neighbouring Singapore where its population is over five million, roughly one million people are in the foreign work force. Whereas an estimated four to five million migrants are working in Thailand.

The coronavirus pandemic has proven to be challenging for many people, and migrant workers are not excluded. 

With movement restrictions from March to May 2020, it was estimated that over 100,000 workers from Myanmar, 50,000 from Cambodia, and 60,000 from Lao PDR went home after losing their jobs in Thailand. Similarly, in Malaysia, 40,000 migrant workers from Thailand and 12,000 from Indonesia also returned home.

Athira Nortajuddin