For overseas employment, visiting the agency’s office is better than online contact

Interview with U Myat Thu,
secretary of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF)

These days, many Myanmar nationals have gone abroad for overseas employment, and some workers have been cheated. Regarding this, GNLM spoke to U Myat Thu, secretary of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF), about do’s and don’ts and opportunities.

Q. May I know about sending workers to Thailand under MOU?
Every day, there are MOU workers sent to Thailand. There are 200 to 400 people on two daily flights. The government sets the age limit. When Myawady was open, more than 800 workers were sent every day. Now, it has been reduced. There are opportunities in factories and construction sites in Thailand.

Q. What about overseas recruitment of Myanmar workers in China?
The first batch of 90 people was sent by agencies to China by air. It was a pilot test. Some agencies wrote demand letters to send more. There are many industrial zones near the Myanmar border. Since they need foreign workers, they recruit from the nearest country, Myanmar.

Q. Which countries are major destinations for overseas employment agencies?
Agencies send workers mainly to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. At present, Malaysia has stopped recruitment. The government also sent workers to Korea, and some agencies have been given permission, mainly for shipyards. Seasonal workers are not allowed yet. Even agencies are not permitted yet, so other groups which recruit workers will be cheaters.

Q. What should overseas goers be aware of to avoid being scammed?
The most important thing is to go directly to the agency’s office. Safe migration has published the list and names of licensed agencies. After checking the list, they should go directly to the offices, whether they are genuine or not. If the company exists, they should also verify phone numbers. Sometimes, the name of a licensed company found online is correct, but there are some fake sites. Agencies face this problem because the official ones provide their information. But, there are many cases where those of famous agencies are copied and faked in order to deceive young people. The best way is to check the list of agencies on Safe Migration and MOEAF and then physically go to the office as per the address.

Q. What are the differences between going abroad legally and illegally?
Going abroad to work legally is more convenient and safer. If anything happens, the licensed agencies will handle the issue in their own way. If necessary, the MOEAF will help with the settlement. As it requires routine submission of documents between two countries, it may take a certain time in some cases. Some young people don’t want to wait and cross the border with the help of brokers. They go to Thailand through this illegal route and get into trouble there.
To leave illegally, they have to give money, pay more in Thailand, and continue to pay for CI and work permits. The cost for an illegal worker is almost three times that of a legal worker. Sometimes, undocumented workers are arrested and put in danger. They suffer more.

Q. What should overseas job seekers learn about language?
Overseas job seekers should know a bit of foreign language – Thai for those going to Thailand, Korean for those going to Korea, Japanese for those going to Japan and Malay for Malaysia. That is the best. But, nowadays, except for Japan and Korea, people go abroad without any knowledge of the respective language and learn it after they arrive.
Thank you very much for sharing your time for this interview.
Interviewer: MT/Translation: ZN

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