Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

1 - Working Conditions in Thailand’s Agricultural Border Zones

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

Agricultural work in Thai export crops like corn, palm oil, and rubber have become that of migrant workers from neighboring countries. How do migration zones restructure economic border geographies? How does the idea of spatial work permits force a rethinking of migration zones? Geographic expansion of where agricultural migrant workers are have contributed to lower-cost production, despite declining agricultural crop prices, and in the face of rising (albeit inadequate) minimum wages for Thai workers. While the Lao-Thai border has constituted illicit cross-border labor supply chains often viewed as a permissible part of kinship economies, workers from Burma and Cambodia are comparatively more regulated and spatially fixed. The paper draws from a larger study conducted in four Provinces to understand how agricultural border migrant zones have contributed to new forms of unfree labor and extractive forms of migrant labor exploitation by small and medium farmers.

Sudarat Musikawong

Mahidol University, Thailand

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1 - Working Conditions in Thailand’s Agricultural Border Zones



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