Consultancy for gathering evidence on irregular migration to Thailand from main sending countries (Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos) to identify policy gaps and opportunities


October to December (3 months) 2019



Sara Piazzano

Chief of Party,

USAID Asia Counter Trafficking in Persons




Winrock International is a nonprofit organization that works with people in the United States and around the world to empower the disadvantaged, increase economic opportunity, and sustain natural resources. Winrock’s five-year Asia Counter Trafficking-in-Persons Project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID Asia CTIP) has goals to reduce trafficking in persons in Asia and to better protect rights of trafficked persons.


As a key country of origin, transit and destination for migrants, Thailand is a regional migration hub within South-East Asia and although migrant workers play a vital role in filling labor market demands in Thailand and despite efforts to regularize migration to Thailand, the majority of migrant workers continue to choose irregular channels to migrate and they live and work in a precarious legal status with increased opportunities for deception and exploitation. And if irregular migrants face risks of being exploited and deported employers face difficulties to fill labor demand and often have to rely on brokers to hire and provide needed documentation to workers, with increased costs that may end up being deducted from workers’ salaries. The process is inefficient and damages both migrants and employers, reducing profits and increasing opportunities for exploitation and bonded labor.  



The purpose of this TOR is to research, verify and document the current regulations, pathways, practices and costs related to the recruitment of both seasonal and long-term migrant workers entering Thailand from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar to work on fishing vessels, on construction sites, and in agricultural jobs.


Asia CTIP seeks to better understand: patterns used by migrants to enter the destination country; involvement of intermediaries; time needed and costs to cross the border and secure a job once in Thailand. This information should be disaggregated by migrant nationality and job sector, including the time and costs for documentation.


Part of the study must also include recommendations on existing or potential platforms and technology that could be used (within the current legal framework) to facilitate faster, more direct, cheaper and more transparent recruitment processes that connect migrant job seekers with employers. These potential recruitment processes should also ensure rapid employment, legal registration and documentation to reduce risks of exploitation and TIP.


The rapid assessment will address the following gaps in knowledge:

  1. The current migration and recruitment practices and patterns for migrant workers in the said sectors, both from the perspective of workers and employers;
  2. The number and type of agencies, agents, brokers and other actors that are involved in migration, recruitment, provision of documentation, and employment placement/administration. This should include agencies that both the employer and potential employee are dealing with.
  3. The steps for recruitment and job placement and the official and unofficial fees paid by workers and employers at each step, disaggregated by industry, nationality of workers, and gender.
  4. The time it takes to go from taking the decision to migrate to actual employment through informal channels, how migrants connect to employers, and how employers connect to migrants.
  5. The average length of employment in the industries and main reasons for workers to leave.
  6. The challenges faced by employers in hiring migrant workers.
  7. The current options for workers to change employer.
  8. The deductions employers place on workers’ wages.
  9. The financing mechanisms the workers use to pay recruitment and employment fees, how they repay, and how long it usually takes
  10. The technologies/ platforms/systems that could be developed in facilitating more transparent, cheaper, faster, accessible and accountable recruitment and job placement services/ opportunities including registration and document provision for migrants within the current legal framework.



  1. Develop and approve with Winrock a detailed research design and timeline outlining proposed methodology, research questions and final report structure
  2. Develop and approve with Winrock data collection tools
  3. In collaboration with Winrock, develop a list of informants
  4. Carry out the rapid assessment
  5. Hold weekly status calls with Winrock
  6. Prepare a final report (minimum 10 pages) and a power point presentation on the findings, conclusions and recommendations





Tentative Due date


Detailed research design and timeline outlining proposed methodology, research questions and tools, as well as final report structure


5 days after signing a consultant agreement


Draft report


By early 3rd month


Submit final report and the power point presentation with findings and illustrative diagrams and inforgraphics to best present the information, with resubmission after comments from Winrock


By end of 3rd month


Participate in sharing workshop (1 day) organized by Winrock




Payment will be made upon timely submission of satisfactory deliverables per agreed work plan, and approval of the contractor’s supervisor. The payment will be made in three (3) tranches after each deliverable has been met.

The proposed payment schedule for the review is as follows:

-            20 % upon Winrock’s approval of work plan, timeline, and tools

-            30 % upon Winrock’s approval of draft report.

-            50% upon final approval of the submitted final report




The Lead researcher is expected to have qualifications as provided below.

  1. Demonstrated understanding of labor rights and migration bilateral frameworks in the sub-region and of Thailand migration and employment policies in the targeted industries
  2. Demonstrated understanding of online recruitment and employment system and tech solutions to facilitate access to information and services
  3. Proven experience in research of relevant issues
  4. Established relations with migrant groups and/or employers in industries mentioned above
  5. Ability to travel to different provinces within Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar within the assignment period.



Please submit the application package with following documents referencing ‘Irregular Migration to Thailand’ in the subject line to info.th@winrock.org by September 16th,2019


-Proposal for the study, including tentative budget and timeline. The cost should include budget for Level of Effort (LOE), Travel and others.

-CV of lead researcher/s


-Any other document that may help the selection process


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