Thu 23 Jun 2016
Filed under: Opinion,Regional
When Myanmar in 2014 conducted its first comprehensive census in 30 years, the country was shocked to discover that some millions were missing from the count, which came in at around 51.5 million people. Last year, when I was conducting demographic research surveys in Mon state in southern Myanmar, near the Thai border, I saw another alarming trend: Almost every other household had sent at least one person to live and work in Thailand. This labor migration has significantly affected the Mon region. Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, is shrinking; manufacturing and food processing factories are struggling for survival; and the social fabric is collapsing with many families torn apart as they seek work elsewhere.