Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Trafficking and deportation in Thailand

The Nation reports on trafficking and abuse of Myanmar workers in Thailand.

Labour exploitation, human trafficking and bondage of migrant workers from Burma continues in Samut Sakhon's shrimp-processing factories and onboard trawlers despite the passing of an anti-human-trafficking law nearly four years ago, said Sompong Srakaew, founder and director of Labour Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN).

Exactly how many workers are trapped in bondage inside shrimp factories or lured and forced to work on deep-sea fishing trawlers is unknown. But, Sompong, who worked in this area for eight years, estimates about 30 per cent of the 400,000-plus Burmese workers in the province are exploited beyond Thai laws.

Bosses confiscate work permits, temporary passports and identity cards so that Burmese in fish-processing factories cannot seek employment elsewhere. Worse still, some are held in small factories and not allowed to leave the compound and forced to work like slaves.

DVB reports on the threat of deportation facing about a million Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand who lack temporary passports or other documentation.

Up to one million Burmese migrants face deportation if they fail to complete Thailand’s national verification procedure by 14 June, human rights campaigners warn, with the stateless Rohingya seen as particularly vulnerable.

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