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Administration Takes Steps to Replace Migrant Workers with Military Service


In Mon State, the administration is actively replacing local residents, who were designated for military service training under the military junta, with migrant workers. This move comes as many locals are either avoiding or failing to fulfill their military service obligations.

According to a resident of Mawlamyine, local authorities are collecting funds from residents to pay migrant workers who will serve in their stead, with payments ranging from 10 lakhs to 50 lakhs kyats per person.

“It’s like a marketplace. Administrators gather money from the community and then look for individuals who can be hired easily. Some people aren’t getting the prices they were quoted,” the resident explained.

The military junta has mandated that each neighborhood in the city must send two individuals for military service training. However, those selected to serve are often fleeing, either refusing to participate or taking turns.

The resident further commented that organizing migrant workers with financial incentives without providing any security support is a violation of human rights.

“People with money are using it to escape military service, but in doing so, they are essentially replacing the workers they employ. The financial burden is passed down, causing the most hardship for the poor,” he added.

Due to rising commodity prices and food shortages, migrant workers find it difficult to refuse military service.

Mon State entrepreneurs are experiencing a labor shortage in several industries, including agriculture, garment production, brick manufacturing, and the restaurant and company sectors, due to the military service law and the substitution of migrant workers for military service.

Most migrant workers in Mon State have come from Bago, Irrawaddy, and Magway.

According to a report by Burma Affairs and Conflict Study (BACS), Mon State has sent over 200 young men to the Military Academy under Military Service Act No. 1, and an additional 200 young men have been sent to the Military Training School under the current Military Service Act No. 2.

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