20 May 2020
By: IOM Thailand

Myint raises her three sons and two daughters alone after her husband passed away in 2015. She used to work at a recycling factory but the work was sporadic so she left and started working at a food stall instead. She usually earns 300 baht a day but has not had any work since the start of April. Myint is from Myeik and has been living in Thailand for almost nine years.


Kyaw lives with his wife and their 11-month-old twin boys. They are from Rakhine State and have been living in Thailand for almost six years. Kyaw works in a fish factory cutting fish heads and usually earns 315 Baht a day but he has been out of a job for over a month. His wife stays at home to take care of the boys.


Me Me lives with her husband and three young children. They are from Myeik and have been living in Thailand for 18 years. She usually works in a squid factory while her husband is employed in a fish factory. Neither of them have been able to work since mid-March. Their eldest son, who is eight years old, attended a migrant learning centre before it was closed.

Me Me 

San lives with her husband, grandson, and granddaughter. She is from Dawai and has been living in Ranong for 20 years. San had been working in fish grading for a local factory but has not had any work for over a month. Her husband works in the repair of fishing vessels and has not had any work for over two months. Their children live in Hat Yai and Chonburi but are not able to come back to Ranong at the moment due to the suspension of cross-provincial bus services. Their grandchildren attended a migrant learning centre before it was closed.


Zar Zar recently moved to Ranong to live next to her mother, after her husband, a fisherman, died at sea. She lives with her two young sons, who are three years old and three months old. She had just started fish grading work before COVID-19 impacted the factory that employed her. She has been without a job since late March.

Zar Zar

Daw is 73 years old and currently on medication for heart disease. She lives in Tak with four family members. “I’m worried about my children,” she told IOM. “They have no jobs because of COVID-19 and we have no money to survive”. Daw’s entire family has been unemployed for four months now.


Koh is from Rakhine State. He came to Thailand over a year ago to look for work. His wife still lives in Myanmar. Koh lives with his adult son in Ranong and had been working at a construction site for about three months before the State of Emergency was declared. However, in March, he started being called in to work less frequently. He only worked about 7 days in March and not at all in April. He does not know when he can go back to work.


Nee Lin used to work in construction but has been unemployed for over a month due to the impact of COVID-19. This has been particularly stressful as his wife is seven months pregnant and he is unable to support his family. Nee Lin and his family have been living in Tak for eight months.

Nee Lin

May used to work at a sewing factory in Mae Sot, and her income supported this family of seven. However, May and her friends all lost their jobs when the factory had to close down due to COVID-19. May is worried about her father, Maung, who suffers from tuberculosis and is under medication. Maung’s TB treatment is very expensive and May is stressed about these costs during her current unemployment.


Aung lives with his wife and their two young sons in Ranong. Aung has been living in Thailand for 15 years and works as a fisherman in Phuket. He normally commutes back to Ranong by bus once a month, but after coming home on 3 April was told he would not be able to return to work again until June. His wife does not have permanent job as she has to take care of their children. Their elder son, who is 8 years old, was studying in a migrant learning centre. However, he now stays at home as the migrant learning centre is closed.