Rapid Assessment: Covid-19 Related Vulnerabilities and Perceptions of Myanmar Migrants in Mueang Ranong District
Rapid Assessment: Covid-19 Related Vulnerabilities and Perceptions of Myanmar Migrants in Mueang Ranong District, Ranong Province, Thailand
From 25 July to 5 August 2020, IOM surveyed 164 Myanmar migrants in the Mueang Ranong district of Ranong province in order to better understand their situation and vulnerabilities following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand. The survey focuses on six thematic areas: 1) Migrant profiles; 2) Drivers of migration; 3) Employment; 4) Impacts of COVID-19; 5) COVID-19 related vulnerabilities; and 6) Return intentions.
Key findings include the following:
- One third of the respondents reported being unemployed at the time of interview. Among this sample, 28 per cent of migrants cited COVID-19 as the reason for their unemployment.
- Among the sample of employed respondents, 35 per cent reported reduced working hours since the outbreak of COVID-19 and 41 per cent reported earning less than before COVID-19. Only 54 per cent of employed respondents reported earning equal to or above the provincial minimum wage in Ranong at the time of interview.
- Sixteen per cent of the migrants surveyed reported having faced challenges at the workplace. It was observed that workplace challenges were twice more likely to have occurred after the outbreak of COVID-19 than before. The most frequently reported workplace challenges included irregular pay, being paid below minimum wage and wages being withheld.
- Only 20 per cent of migrants reported being aware of available support mechanisms in case of problems at the workplace and only 12 per cent of migrants who experienced workplace challenges sought support. Reasons for not seeking support include being fearful of repercussions, not being aware of support actors and being fearful of losing their employment.
- When asked about changes to their financial situation since the outbreak of COVID-19, 43 per cent of respondents stating having less income and facing financial challenges. Forty-eight per cent of migrants also reported that over the past month they had worried about not having enough food to eat due to the consequences of COVID-19. The mostly commonly reported challenges since the outbreak of COVID-19 were not having enough income and psychological stress.
- Only nine per cent of respondents reported receiving assistance related to COVID-19 challenges. Among migrants who received assistance, 40 per cent stated receiving assistance from the Thai government and 27 per cent reported receiving assistance from NGOs, CBOs and the UN.
- Among migrants who sent remittances home prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, 82 per cent reported that the amount of money they remit has now changed. Among this sample, 51 per cent of respondents reported remitting less than before and 44 per cent reported not sending any remittances at all.
- While almost all respondents reported having access to water, soap and face masks, 60 per cent of respondents stated that information, education and communication (IEC) materials on COVID-19 were not being distributed in their area.