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International Officer Rhonda Spence and Local 2440 activist and Global Justice committee co-chair Marian White are meeting with Burmese organizations in Chiang Mai and in Mae Sot, Thailand.

The Thai-Burma border region is home to hundreds of thousands of Burmese refugees and migrant workers. The CUPE delegates are learning firsthand about the struggles of the Burmese people and the role Burmese human rights organizations play in pressuring for change inside of Burma.

CUPE Local 2440 initiated the project two years ago and CUPE’s support has provided the opportunity for many Burmese activists to improve their advocacy skills and to put those skills into practice.

Activities directly support communities in Burma. An example of this is the International Commission of Inquiry workshop held last December, which demonstrated how a Commission of Inquiry is an effective tool for addressing human rights violations.

First stop was a visit to Network for Environment and Economic Development (NEED) a dynamic project that combines sustainable organic farming with a safe place for Burmese refugees to live and learn skills that will be useful back in Burma.

For the next few days a series of meetings with human rights organizations will provide CUPE with a better sense of the work on the ground and how to build and sustain our support.

Watch for more stories coming soon on cupe.ca.