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Over 400 Myanmar migrants under China detention for over a year

Beijing

At least 400 migrant workers from Myanmar have been detained by China for entering the country illegally and working without official documents.

These migrants have been under Beijing’s detention for more than a year now. About 300 of the migrants were held at a prison in the southern coastal city of Dongguan, while the remaining have been detained inside a seafood factory in Shandong province, Radio Free Asia reported.

A migrant who was released in September informed Radio Free Asia that his brother along with several other migrant workers were arrested by the Chinese authorities.

“Of those arrested along with my brother, only four or five of them have been released. I don’t know where the others are being held now. Sometimes they are taken to work for other companies,” the migrant informed.

“When we arrived after being arrested, there were 27 or 28 occupants in each room. They were all, like us, arrested while working. We had no idea at the time how many months or years we would be there or when we would be released,” Aye Lwin Than, another migrant who was released in September told Radio Free Asia.

The Chinese government officials sometimes work with business owners to exploit migrants, Radio Free Asia reported citing the migrant.

Although, there is no official bilateral agreement between China and Myanmar on migrant workers, but thousands of migrant workers from Myanmar go to neighbouring China every year in search of work.

Most Myanmar workers in China are often considered illegal workers and often get arrested because there is no agreement on the issue of migrant labour, Radio Free Asia reported citing residents on the Chinese side of the border.

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