To help migrant workers in Thailand to overcome language barriers and better access protection and regal remedies, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), has partnered with the Ministry of Labour to develop a handbook targeting interpreters and Thai service providers.
Launched in Bangkok yesterday, the “Interpreter Handbook for the Protection and Assistance of Migrant Workers”, is intended to help build the capacity of interpreters and language coordinators working with migrants.
The first edition, available in Thai, covers protection-oriented principles, as well as details about the rights and duties of migrant workers, national labour protection laws and practical guidelines for interpretation. In addition to being distributed to all Ministry-employed interpreters nationwide, the handbook will also be publicly available to other service providers, including NGO staff, public health professionals, social workers, lawyers and others who deal with migrants in the course of their work.
“While many positive initiatives have been undertaken to develop policies and administrative structures to better regulate labour migration flows, a lot of protection challenges remain, mainly due to language and cultural barriers,” said IOM Thailand chief of mission Dana Graber Ladek.
“Interpreters play a vital role in helping migrant workers better understand their labour rights and the services available to them,” said Ladek.
Added Deputy Permanent Secretary for Labour Petcharat Sin-auay: “This handbook is the result of the participation of all actors – the government, NGOs, the private sector, civil society – in a coordinated effort towards the sustainable protection of migrant workers’ rights.”
Funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the handbook is an initiative under the Migrant Assistance and Protection Programme (MAPP) – a counter-trafficking project implemented in the Greater Mekong sub-region.