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Rapid Assessment: COVID-19 Related Vulnerabilities and Perceptions of Myanmar Migrants in Mueang Ranong District, Ranong Province, Thailand (September 2020)

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BACKGROUND

In light of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand, migrants and non-Thai populations, irrespective of their legal status, face a new set of challenges and vulnerabilities. Movement restrictions and the disruption of many income-generating activities pose a significant burden on migrants and non-Thai populations employed in both the formal and informal sectors. With limited or no access to technology, limited capacity to cope and adapt, limited or no savings, inadequate access to social services, and uncertainty about their legal status and potential to access healthcare services, hundreds of thousands of migrants and nonnationals have left Thailand since late March 2020.

However, the full extent to which these challenges and vulnerabilities are affecting migrant communities and non-nationals who have opted to remain in Thailand, or had no choice but to remain in Thailand, remains unknown. It is also unclear whether migrant communities and non-nationals are receiving sufficient information about COVID-19 or have access to the resources which will allow them to maintain the hygiene and sanitation standards required for effective protection. To fill these data gaps and inform possible responses, IOM initiated a number of data collection exercise to collect information on the COVID-19 knowledge and related vulnerabilities of non-Thai populations in Thailand, including two rounds of a rapid assessment undertaken with key informants in April and May 2020.

Building on these data collection exercises, and in order to obtain more specific and targeted information, IOM conducted individual migrant survey in the district of Mueang Ranong in the border province of Ranong,
Thailand. The survey focuses on six thematic areas: 1) Migrant profiles; 2) Drivers of migration; 3) Employment; 4) Impacts of COVID-19; 5) COVID-19 related vulnerabilities; and 6) Return intentions.

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