11 July 2024

Tone used to come and go between Thailand and Myanmar. He is a documented worker with a passport and paperwork, all legal. He is one of the 37 immigrant workers from Myanmar who have been out of work for 50 days now. They all tested negative for COVID-19.

Their employers took all of them to take the test in Nonthaburi last month. They are, in theory, free to go home, but the border is closed, and they don’t have money to travel.

La, another worker at the camp, has been working in Thailand since he was 13 years old. He said Thailand is his home now, with a wife and children here. He said it is their decision to reduce the risk by minimizing their own movements, along with the fact that they have no money.

They said, as soon as they get paid, they send most of their money back home and keep only a couple of thousand for themselves. COVID-19 is, of course, an unforeseen incident.