Foreign Policy Watch: India-Myanmar

India issues new advisory against fake job rackets in Myanmar, flags another ‘dangerous’ area


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: States bordering with Myanmar


Why in the news?

The advisory was shared on social media by the Indian Embassy in Yangon on Monday (June 3 2024), urging caution against job offers in the Pha Lu area, south of Myawaddy town. This region has recently emerged as a hotspot where most Indian victims are being trafficked, often via Thailand.

Highlights made by the Indian Embassy’s Advisories:

    • The embassy has issued multiple advisories warning against fake job rackets in Myanmar, highlighting the significant and ongoing threat.
    • Declared New Danger Zone: The Pha Lu area, south of Myawaddy town, has been identified as a new hotspot for trafficking, necessitating heightened vigilance. Previous advisories flagged Myawaddy, Yangon, Laukkaing, Lashio, and Tachileik as risky areas.
      • There’s been a rise in Indian nationals falling victim to crime syndicates in the Myawaddy region on the Myanmar-Thailand border.
  • On Security Issues:
    • Broader insecurity: Not just Indian nationals, but individuals from countries like Malaysia and the UAE have also been targeted by these syndicates.
    • Social Media Caution: Emphasis on avoiding job offers made through social media or unverified sources.
    • Security Worsening: The security situation in Myanmar has deteriorated since the February 2021 military coup, exacerbating human trafficking issues.
  • Consultation Urged: Indian nationals are urged to verify job offers and consult respective Indian embassies before accepting employment abroad.

India-Myanmar Bilateral Relations:

    • India and Myanmar signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1951, and the visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1987 laid the foundations for a stronger relationship.

Significance of India-Myanmar Relation:

    • Economic Cooperation: India is Myanmar’s 4th largest export market and 5th largest import partner. The bilateral trade target of $1 billion was achieved by 2017.
    • Strategic Cooperation: India’s engagement with Myanmar is motivated by a desire to counter China’s growing influence in the region and enhance its own influence and standing.
    • Security Ties: India and Myanmar have cooperated on security issues, including combating drug trafficking and insurgent groups operating in the border areas.
    • Recent Developments: India gifted Myanmar its first submarine, and the two countries have carried out joint operations against insurgent camps.

The relationship faces challenges such as the Rohingya issue, the coup by the military junta, and the exploitation of the porous border by terrorist outfits and insurgent groups

Way Forward:

  • Need Monitoring and Ground Surveillance: India can collaborate with social media platforms to monitor and remove fraudulent job postings and take legal action against those responsible.
  • Stronger Bilateral Cooperation: Strengthen cooperation with Myanmar and neighboring countries like Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia to crack down on human trafficking networks and facilitate the safe return of victims.

Mains PYQ:

Q Cross-border movement of insurgents is only one of the several security challenges facing the policing of the border in North-East India. Examine the various challenges currently emanating across the India-Myanmar border. Also, discuss the steps to counter the challenges. (UPSC IAS/2019)

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