Susu Thwe



38, from Yangon, Myanmar

On a remote island in Myanmar, Susu and her husband waited for a broker who they had paid to take them across the border to Thailand. At the time, Susu was pregnant, and they hoped to find work and start a new life as a family.

After waiting two weeks, they were transported to Phuket Island by boat. From there, they were loaded into a blacked-out van with no seats. The van was packed with another dozen migrants that had all been promised work in Phuket.

Susu and her husband had no paperwork to leave Myanmar or to enter Thailand, yet the van easily traveled under the cover of night. It was a long journey.

They finally arrived at a construction site, where Susu’s husband was promised a passport and other documents that would allow him to work legally. His boss agreed, however he was deducted 2,400 baht from his salary each month, leaving little money for food, or for healthcare Susu needed during her pregnancy.

Months passed, no documents were given, they had little money, and they realized they could not continue living this way amidst the unfulfilled promises they were told.     Heavily pregnant, Susu was in no condition to work, and her husband could not continue to work without the working documents promised by his employer.

The couple moved into their friend’s rented house. However, the owner of the house later found out that they were undocumented migrants. The owner told them to move out by the end of the day or he would call the police to arrest them. With fear of being arrested, the couple moved out.

Having no place to go, Susu’s friend contacted DISAC, Diocesan Social Action Center, to ask if they could help Susu and her husband. DISAC is one of the USAID Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons project partners, working in Phuket providing legal assistance to migrant workers.

Without legal documents and no way to obtain legality, Susu and her husband could not remain in Phuket. Presently they have returned to Myanmar where they are figuring out next steps.

Photo by Luke Duggleb

Rapeepun Yomsang


Rapeepun Yomsang