Friday, 15 July 2016

(yet another) Thai migrant registration deadline

The Thai Labor Ministry yesterday said it would refuse to extend the July 29 deadline for migrant workers to register themselves, stating they will arrest workers who have not registered from next month.
Arak Phrommanee, the director-general of the Employment Department at the Thai Labor Ministry, told the Bangkok Post that employers who take on undocumented workers will be fined once the deadline passes. “The registration drive is designed to ensure more efficient management of migrant workers; it will help employers too,” he said. “The employers who hire undocumented migrant workers will be fined 100,000 baht [about $2,850] for each illegal migrant worker hired.” Mr. Arak added that labor authorities will closely collaborate with immigration officers, police and security agencies to drive out undocumented migrant workers. In April, Cambodian Labor Minister Ith Samheng announced the Thai cabinet would require all migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar who held work permits as of the end of March to renew them by the end of July. He said the move was being made to ensure “systematic management of foreign workers to meet international standards” and the legality of foreign workers. Mr. Arak said a total of 786,743 migrant workers along with 17,218 dependents from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos had registered with authorities. He expects more than 800,000 migrant workers will register. “Employers must report to authorities if their staff abandons work. The move is intended to solve the problem of migrant workers leaving jobs and becoming illegal workers,” he said. Mao Chandara, general director of the ministry’s identification department, told Khmer Times last week that more than 200,000 passports had already been granted to Cambodian workers in Thailand, but he declined to comment on how many Cambodian workers remain in Thailand undocumented. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported last year that about 420,000 Cambodians were working legally in Thailand, with an additional 270,000 in the country on a temporary basis.
"Thai Warning as Deadline Looms," Khmer Times, 15 July 2016.
A senior Labour Ministry official in Thailand has said it will not extend a deadline for the registration of migrant workers that expires on July 29, a Bangkok newspaper reported on July 14. Mr Arak Phrommanee also said a crackdown on the illegal employment of migrant workers would begin as soon as the registration period ended, the Bangkok Post reported. “The registration drive is designed to ensure more efficient management of migrant workers; it will help employers, too,” said Arak, the director-general of the Department of Employment. Employers who hired undocumented migrant labour would be liable to a fine of THB100,000 (about K3.35 million) for each worker, he said. Thai labour authorities would work closely with police, immigration officers and security agencies to stamp out undocumented migrant workers, Arak said. More than 800,000 migrant workers were expected to register before the deadline, the report said. Arak said a total of 786,743 migrant workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, as well as 17,218 dependents, had registered with the Thai authorities. He dismissed claims that there were more than three million migrant workers in Thailand, saying the figure was fabricated. Thailand’s second largest mobile phone operator, DTAC, told Frontier earlier this year it estimated that the country has about five million Myanmar residents. DTAC, that owns a Myanmar-language platform called Happy Myanmar, said the estimate was based on an analysis of SIM card use in Thailand.
"Thailand rules out new migrant worker registration deadline," Frontier Myanmar, 14 July 2016.

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