Promoting a positive image of migrant workers in Thailand and Malaysia
- Responsible Organisations: International Labour Organization (ILO) (International Organisation)
- ILO Regions: Asia and the Pacific
- Country(ies): Malaysia; Thailand
- Thematic areas: Social integration and inclusion
- MLFLM: 14.
The ILO's Australian Government-funded 'Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers within and from the Greater Mekong Subregion from Labour Exploitation' (GMS TRIANGLE project) supported two campaigns in Thailand (Saphan Siang - Bridge of Voices) and Malaysia (Migration Works) to improve perceptions of migrant workers. The campaigns promote better understanding between nationals and migrant workers by increasing public awareness on the issues faced by migrant workers, their positive contribution to the countries' economies and societies, and their right to equal protection under the law and practical access to support services.
The campaigns originated in research conducted by the project on public attitudes towards migrant workers, and have grown to be supported by a number of UN and civil society partners. The campaigns have organically developed a strong social media presence, and have created public service announcements aimed at the general public ('Migration Works for Us All' and the 'Saphan Siang Special'). Various outreach events including workshops and exhibitions have been hosted, aiming to create opportunities for interaction between nationals and migrants and mobilise host communities to better protect migrant workers.
In 2014, the Saphan Siang Youth Ambassador Programme was launched, placing university students in professional volunteer roles with organisations that work with migrant communities. The Ambassadors blog their experiences, and are encouraged to continue their engagement with the campaign in their universities and home communities. The campaigns have also begun to expand their engagement with media organisations and journalists, hosting training sessions on the issue. Domestic work has also been a focus of the campaigns, with infographics on domestic workers' rights launched in June 2014 to celebrate International Domestic Workers Day (http://www.saphansiang.org/infographiceng).