Cross-border Collaborative Pro Bono Project:
NUS Law Pro Bono Group & Thammasat University Pro Bono Society

NUS Law PBG and TU PBS members taking a commemorative group photo with Burmese migrant workers during legal presentations

In January 2019, 12 members from the NUS Law Pro Bono Group (PBG) embarked on Thai-ed with Love 2019, a cross-border pro bono project in collaboration with Thammasat University (TU) Pro Bono Society (PBS) and Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF). Linklaters (Thailand) Ltd provided financial support for the implementation and execution of this cross-border collaborative pro bono project. The trip achieved the intended objectives of the Thai-ed with Love project: to collaborate with Thai law students in increasing legal awareness and empowering legal rights amongst Burmese migrant workers in Thailand, and share PBG's experience with TU PBS to support their development of long-term pro bono projects.

On the first day, Thai-ed with Love 2019 participants went to the industrial district of Maha Chai, to interview and interact with the Burmese migrant workers at HRDF. The first-hand interactions and interviews allowed participants to understand the beneficiaries and identify relevant legal issues. Participants then spent a week undergoing discussions and conducting extensive legal research on selected topics. This work was supplemented by a range of lectures covering migrant worker issues in Thailand, including Thai Labour Law and legal research methodology in civil law jurisdictions. The lectures were conducted by NGO representatives, lawyers and law professors. To gain further insight into the living conditions and problems faced by migrant workers in Thailand, participants also visited the Klong Toey Slum, which has a sizeable migrant worker community. Participants then put this knowledge to work and created posters, pamphlets and visual aids for legal presentations.

On the last day, participants returned to the HRDF branch at Maha Chai District to conduct presentations for the migrant workers. NUS Law PBG and TU PBS participants engaged in three rounds of legal presentations, on topics such as contractual rights, women's rights, workplace injury compensation and negotiation techniques. Burmese translators helped facilitate communications between the participants and the migrant workers.

Participants were truly heartened to see migrant workers listening, taking notes, taking photographs of the visual aids, and keeping the information brochures prepared by the participants. Participants in this project also prepared softcopies of the pamphlets and brochures, which were sent to the Human Rights and Development Foundation. These materials will be translated into Burmese before disseminating to even more migrant workers.

Thai-ed with Love 2019 is a continuation of previous tie-ups in Thailand, and PBG looks forward to sustaining a strong partnership and implementing future editions of Thai-ed with Love.

NUS Law PBG delegation with Thammasat University Faculty of Law Deanery

Participants attending a lecture on migrant worker issues in Thailand

NUS Law PBG and TU PBS members visiting the Pridi Banomyong Memorial

Participants interviewing and interacting with Burmese migrant workers at the industrial district of Maha Chai

Participants creating posters and visual aids for legal presentations to migrant workers