Rurally rooted cross‐border migrant workers from Myanmar, Covid‐19, and agrarian movements

SM (Jun) Borras, Jennifer C. Franco, Doi Ra, Tom Kramer, Mi Kamoon, Phwe Phyu, Khu Khu Ju, Pietje Vervest, Mary Oo, Kyar Yin Shell, Thu Maung Soe, Ze Dau, Mi Phyu, Mi Saryar Poine, Mi Pakao Jumper, Nai Sawor Mon, Khun Oo, Kyaw Thu, Nwet Kay Khine, Tun Tun NaingNila Papa, Lway Htwe Htwe, Lway Hlar Reang, Lway Poe Jay, Naw Seng Ja, Yunan Xu, Chunyu Wang, Jingzhong Ye

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This paper examines the situation of rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers from Myanmar during the Covid-19 pandemic. It looks at the circumstances of the migrants prior to the global health emergency, before exploring possibilities for a
post-pandemic future for this stratum of the working people by raising critical questions addressed to agrarian movements.
It does this by focusing on the nature and dynamics of the nexus of land and labour in the context of production and social
reproduction, a view that in the context of rurally rooted cross-border migrant workers necessarily requires interrelated
perspectives on labour, agrarian, and food justice struggles. This requires a rethinking of the role of land, not as a factor
in either production or social reproduction, but as a central component in both spheres simultaneously. The question is not
‘whether’ it is necessary and desirable to forge multi-class coalitions and struggles against external capital, while not losing sight of the exploitative relations within rural communities and the household; rather, the question is ‘how’ to achieve
this. It will require a messy recursive process, going back and forth between theoretical exploration and practical politics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Early online date3 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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