Interpreter Handbook For Migrant Workers’ Rights Launched In Thailand

Thailand is a thriving country with good opportunities for investors and workers. This is why household relocations in Thailand are becoming more and more popular. With the influx of migrant workers hoping to find greener pastures in Thailand, the UN Migration Agency (IOM), in partnership wit the Ministry of Labour in the country, has developed a handbook for interpreters and service providers.


Bridging Language Barriers

Some people looking into household relocations in Thailand start off by being migrant workers. This is no longer unheard of— many people from other countries find work abroad, or are sent by their companies to work at a branch in Thailand. However, migrant workers need help from the law to protect their rights and ensure that they are treated fairly and are not being taken advantage of. This is a concern, not only for Thailand, but also for all countries with migrant workers.


The problem, however, is that the language barrier makes it difficult for migrant workers in Thailand to fully understand their rights, and discourages them from talking to professionals who could help them. To mitigate this concern, the government and the UN Migration Agency has provided handbooks for interpreters and Thai service providers to help them coordinate with migrant workers without worrying about language barriers and misunderstandings. The goal of the project is to improve the capacity of language coordinators and interpreters to perform their duties in working with individuals from all parts of the world.


Protecting Workers’ Rights

The first edition of the handbook discusses the rights and duties of migrant workers, as well as labour laws that protect them. It also includes a guideline for interpreting the material. Although the material was initially released to interpreters working for the ministry, the handbook would soon be available for the public through NGO’s, social workers, public health professionals, and other individuals who deal with migrant workers.


Collaborative Effort

The ministry sees the vital role that interpreters play in assisting migrant workers understand their rights in the country, and seek ways to make sure that these rights are practiced and protected. The handbook was a collaborative work of the government, non-government organizations, the civil society, as well as some concerned individuals in the private sector.