A leaflet factory in a leafy suburb of Bangkok may be seen as a cheap, low-cost way to keep residents occupied and well fed, but many in the Southeast Asian country of 25 million people are living in it.
A report published on Tuesday by the World Bank found that Thailand had the highest number of people living on leaflet farms in the world, accounting for 17.2% of its population.
In the past two years, the number of leaflet-owning households has increased from 6.7 million to 7.1 million, and the number that use them to make and distribute food has risen from 1.4 million to 1.8 million.
While many of the people who live on leafleting farms say they’re happy with the work they do, others are frustrated by the lack of work opportunities and work conditions.
As a result, many of them are turning to informal work, such as selling fruit and vegetables, which are more often the work of small groups of workers.
Thailand has one of the highest rates of child labour in Southeast Asia, which is partly a result of Thailand’s reliance on the leafleter industry.
The leafleters’ wages are often too low to be competitive with those of other leaflet workers, who make more money on their own.
“If they are getting a wage, the leaflet maker has to do everything by hand,” said Pramut Chanpichai, a Thai-American entrepreneur who runs an online business that sells food to leafletting groups in the country.
“The wage is a lot less than what the leafler would earn on a regular job.
There is no opportunity for them to do the manual work.”
In Thailand, workers earn around 30% less than their counterparts in the rest of the world.
The problem has been exacerbated by the country’s poor financial condition, which has led to the country being unable to pay its debts to its foreign creditors.
Thailand’s government recently announced it would pay off its debt to the International Monetary Fund and the World Development Bank, which had taken on debt of $4.5 billion since 2015.
The country has also recently suspended payments to foreign banks for some projects, including those relating to education and health care, after they failed to meet their debt obligations.
“It’s a really tough time for Thailand.
There’s so much debt and there’s no money to pay it,” said Alisa Sengaripour, a member of a leafletering group in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
“They have been working really hard for the past few years.
Now they’re just sitting there, and it’s not working out.”
Thailand has also been the subject of protests by leafleted protesters who say that the government is using the country as a tax haven to avoid paying taxes on their income.
Many of them have also been detained by Thai authorities, including in recent months, when activists attempted to disrupt a meeting between government officials and the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights.