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COVID-19 UPDATE

jUNE 2020.  As the current global pandemic has been affecting us all, we want to give you a brief update on the impact upon the work of Issara Institute and those we support.  We hope everyone is staying safe and following public health guidelines, wherever you are.

 

In early March, we released our 5-year impact report, available at www.issarainstitute.org/impact.  We had planned a series of in-person launches and discussions, but will now invite stakeholders to a series of shorter webinars and Q&A to be held through the spring and summer.  Invitations forthcoming!  Please email info@issarainstitute.org for more info.

 

Issara Institute teams in Southeast Asia are currently not conducting in-person outreach to workers and business, and in-person meetings and events are on hold. The safety of our team and communities is paramount, and our teams are generally working from home.

 

However, we continue to support workers and businesses!  

 

Our worker voice channels remain as active as ever, and we are sharing valuable information on the pandemic and personal and community safety over these channels on a daily basis, reaching over 200,000 workers.  From sharing great hand washing videos from all over the globe to our own Issara videos on worker rights and benefits (for example, check out this video on sick leave in Thailand, in Burmese with English subtitles), we are ensuring that valuable information is available to Burmese, Khmer, and Thai workers in their native languages, and are working 24/7 to answer questions and assist (as always).  Many workers are scared, lack access to credible information, and many are seeking to return home or remain safe in this uncertain period. We’ll be coming out with new, informative videos for migrant workers every few days, responding to the most urgent questions being raised through our worker voice channels.  

 

Our teams are also meeting virtually with Thai, Malaysian, and Myanmar businesses to discuss issues and grievances raised over worker voice channels, and to maintain momentum on efforts to improve the recruitment and employment of foreign migrant workers. We are directly supporting businesses with policy advice and quick translation of key communiques to their workers on hygiene, sick leave, and other benefits.  This will be a very trying time for many supplier and recruitment agency businesses, as well as their customers, and we are committed to helping them navigate it.

 

We are also distributing unconditional cash transfers (UCTs) to workers who have been exploited or stranded, or who face severe underemployment, as a result of COVID-19.  Please contact us at info@issarainstitute.org if you want to contribute to the fund - all money goes straight into the hands of exploited and vulnerable workers!

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(c) 2020 Issara Institute.  All rights reserved.

Issara Institute, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, and a registered non-profit foundation in Thailand.  All donations are tax deductible.

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