MAP Radio is a unique and reliable media outlet dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of migrants living along the Thai-Myanmar border.
With Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA’s support, MAP Radio delivers vital information to migrant communities in an accessible way. Broadcasting in migrant languages, primarily Burmese and Shan, MAP Radio provides timely news updates. It also informs migrants about labour rights and immigration processes and educates migrant communities on women’s rights, education, health and social issues. Importantly over the past three years, MAP has provided regular updates on COVID-19 prevention, treatment, vaccination and local restrictions.
The deteriorating political, economic and humanitarian crisis in Myanmar has led to increasing numbers of people trying to seek refuge outside the country. For migrants living in Thailand, it can be difficult to access news from home. In this context, MAP Radio plays a vital role in keeping migrant workers informed and connected to the news. It also provides information about immigration and labour rights to newly arrived migrants.
MAP Radio broadcasts 55 hours per week from each of their two stations, as well as streaming broadcasts online. There are a total of 33 regular broadcast DJs, which includes eight MAP staff, 10 representatives from other local community-based organisations and 15 volunteer DJs from the migrant community. The project provides technical training and support to community representatives and volunteers, upskilling them to use radio technology and providing them with a platform to share information.
Migrant workers often work long hours and struggle to find important information in accessible formats. Yan Myo Aung, a 22-year-old factory worker, reported that before he listened to MAP Radio, he did not know there was a legal minimum wage and he didn’t realise he and his fellow workers were being exploited. “After listening to MAP radio, I found out how much wages are according to labour law and learned to ask for them.” Yan Myo also shares what he has learned with friends. After his friend was fired without receiving wages, he helped him connect with a workers’ association. Yan Myo encourages other migrant workers to listen to MAP Radio to be better informed of their rights and how they can get help if they need it.
MAP Foundation’s Alternative Media for Migrants program is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).