Church & Society

Migrants struggle to find jobs in Yangon September 23, 2018

Legions of migrant workers make their way to Myanmar's commercial capital Yangon each year looking to take a short step up the economic ladder by trading rural poverty for urban poverty and all the trappings urban life provides.

Many end up in Hlaing Tharyar township on the city's western edge, where the population has swollen to 700,000. Hlaing Tharyar is now the biggest township in Myanmar and the most densely packed of all the satellite towns that sprang up in the 1980s.

Most migrants who wind up here struggle to find contract work, despite a series of political and economic reforms having been instituted in 2011 to help ease their plight.

They also have to contend with an alarming crime rate due to the informal nature of the settlement, where new faces can move around with a relatively high degree of anonymity.

According to figures provided by the World Bank, the Irrawaddy Delta sees the highest level of migration in the country.

Photos by Htoo Tay Zar.

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