Migrant workers’ remittances: Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar

The study on migrant workers’ remittances to their families Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar investigated the sending behaviour in terms of the amount sent, the frequency in sending, the intended purposes of the remittances and the actual use.

This study looked at the patterns of remittance sending by nationality, sex, age groups, marital status of migrants and the duration of stay in Thailand, the host country. They also explored the channels for sending remittances, the reasons, the associated costs of various sending channels and how the remittances reach the family in the home country. The researchers surveyed the incomes and patterns of expenditure of migrant workers before migration and after migration. The report covers the savings behaviour of migrant workers and their access to financial services in the host and the home countries. In brief, labour migration has tremendously improved the welfare of migrant workers and their families in terms of gaining greater income, more consumption power and presumably better health care and education for their family. However, there is still room for labour-receiving and labour-sending countries to realize the impact of migration and remittances on social and economic development. For a labour-receiving country such as Thailand, promoting and providing the opportunity for migrant workers from its three neighbouring countries to access its banking services is a starting point for augmenting the benefits of migration, which might indirectly reduce the need for irregular migration and re-migration. It is essential for labour-sending countries to develop the basic financial infrastructure for fostering the benefits from the remittances. Helping migrant workers become financially literate before their departure abroad would enable them to work in the labour-receiving countries with more sound purpose.