Gender, Cross-border Migrant Workers and Citizenship : Case Study of the Burmese-Thai Border

Burmese women workers in Thai border factories are generally excluded from the benefits and protection that define citizenship entitlements. Their employment contracts are not protected by the regulations drawn up for national workers. They have little or no access to basic services, including health and education for themselves or their dependents. Rather, they work in a context where immigration regulations ensure that neither the receiving state nor the employer takes any responsibility for the wellbeing of the labour force.

This study aims to demonstrate how women are affected by and affect new patterns of global production, and their place in their country of work. Researchers will examine how state policies in Thailand (immigration, labour, border area) interact to create a new supply of cheap labour. The study will elucidate the labour market effects of such policies and their implications for gendered wellbeing and entitlements.

The research findings will feed into ongoing discussion of border industrialization - not only in Thailand but also in Laos and Cambodia, which have also adopted border industrialization policies.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, August 18, 2006

End Date

Monday, April 18, 2011


36 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 320,300


Far East Asia, Thailand, Central Asia, South Asia, Cambodia, Laos


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Dr. Kyoko Kusakabe


Asian Institute of Technology

Institution Country


Institution Website