Migration is a significant and longstanding feature of Myanmar society. Around 4.25 million migrants from Myanmar are believed to be living in other countries, many in neighbouring Thailand. Internal migration is also widespread. Inside Myanmar, one in five people are lifetime migrants, according to data from the most recent national census.
While migration can benefit children and their families, it can also place children in situations of risk.
This is particularly the case where children are moving outside of safe and legal pathways. In such situations children may be unable to access basic services, and legal recognition, by host governments. They can become more vulnerable to exploitation by smugglers and traffickers. Their rights may be violated in a context of repressive responses to immigration control.
Migration, by its nature, is challenging to track. In Southeast Asia and other regions, there is a great need for more data on migration, including on how migration affects children. Better data helps the development of policies that can ensure children receive the protections they need.