Kyaw Win Htay

Chiang Rai


Kyaw Win Htay left Bago, Myanmar, in 1998 and arrived in Thailand to look for work as his job prospects in Myanmar were limited. Upon arriving in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai, the only work he could find was as a garbage collector. Today, Kyaw, a devoted father and hard-working garbage man, lives with his wife and Thai born daughter near Lan Muang market in Chiang Rai.     

As a migrant worker, Kyaw did not know the laws or services provided to him. Having no documents for his daughter, he worried about protecting her. This was before Kyaw heard about The Freedom Story (TFS), a nonprofit organization in Chiang Rai supported by the USAID Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons project, providing outreach, legal assistance, and information to help migrant workers. Since connecting with TFS and learning about his rights, his life has become easier, and he sees a bright future ahead.

Kyaw Win Htay attended several training sessions run by The Freedom Story on labor rights and human trafficking, including the process in obtaining important documents such as work permits, visas and birth certificates. Based on the knowledge obtained in these training sessions, Kyaw was able to obtain a birth certificate for his daughter. She is now eligible for rights as stated under Thai law.

“Without The Freedom Story, my daughter would not be able to obtain a birth certificate,” says Kyaw Win Htay. “  Without it, life would be aimless, and one wouldn’t dare to have a dream.”

Kyaw has always given back to the community. As a garbage man, he is able to have eyes and ears close to the ground. If a migrant worker needs more support, he helps connect them with the relevant organizations.

Due to his increased knowledge and confidence, Kyaw Win Htay slowly changed from a person who silently hid behind everybody to a confident man standing at the forefront. During the first months of COVID-19, Kyaw Win Htay was one of the 20 dedicated volunteers who reached out to unemployed migrant workers affected by the pandemic.

Photo by Suthep Kritsanavarin

Go U Suay Ne


Go U Suay Ne