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Issues Affecting the Movement of Rural Labour in Myanmar: Rakhine Case Study

Discussion Papers


by OKAMOTO Ikuko
July 2009


This paper presents issues affecting the movement of rural labour in Myanmar, by examining the background, purpose and earned income of labourers migrating to fishing villages in southern Rakhine. A broad range of socioeconomic classes, from poor to rich, farmers to fishermen, is migrating from broader areas to specific labour-intensive fishing subsectors, such as anchovy fishing. These labourers are a mixed group of people whose motives lie either in supplementing their household income or accumulating capital for further expansion of their economic activities. The concentration of migrating labourers with different objectives in this particular unstable, unskilled employment opportunity suggests an insufficiently developed domestic labour market in rural Myanmar. There is a pressing need to create stable labour-intensive industries to meet this demand.

Keywords: migration, labour, fishery
JEL classification: J61, R23

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