Category Archives: Migration Policy in Thailand

Migrant workers to receive better welfare in Thailand

The Ministry of Labor is expected to provide better care for migrant workers in Thailand by enforcing stricter laws against dodgy employers and job agencies.

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Labor, Nakhon Silapa-archa said at a meeting arranged in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor and the International Labor Organization (ILO), that the Thai government has placed great emphasis on the welfare of migrant workers.

It has also thanked the ILO for cooperating with Thailand in addressing a child labor issue and supporting the establishment of a migrant worker union.

There are more than 4 million workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia entering Thailand each year. Mr. Nakhon added that the agencies must work together to ensure better protection for these migrant workers.

The Department of Employment has been told to take firm legal action against employers and job agencies taking advantage of these foreign workers.

By: National News Bureau of Thailand
Published on: 7 April 2015

Migrants from four countries eligible for health benefits

Workers from Myanmar, laos, Cambodia and Vietnam now get better coverage

MIGRANT workers from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam can now buy healthcare insurance and enjoy healthcare benefits that are on par with what Thais get via the country’s universal healthcare scheme.

“The insurance covers chronic diseases, surgeries, and even high-cost anti-retroviral drugs,” Public Health Ministry deputy permanent secretary Amnuay Gajeena said yesterday.

He said insurance fees were Bt2,100 for one-year coverage, Bt1,400 for six-month coverage, and Bt1,000 for three-month coverage.

The fees have already included the first health checks for migrant workers – a measure that the relevant authorities have used to monitor and control diseases in the country.

“For children aged under seven years old, the fee is just Bt365 for one-year coverage,” Amnuay added.

Only Myanmar, Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese workers and their dependants are eligible to buy such healthcare insurance. The purchases can be made at any state hospital or participating private hospital. Even those who work in Thailand during the day and return home at night can buy it, he said.

The healthcare insurance was revealed in an announcement made by the Public Health Ministry.Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin said his ministry issued two new announcements at the end of last month to improve foreign workers’ access to healthcare services.”These announcements have taken effect since April 1,” he said.

Amnuay said foreigners who were not Myanmar, Vietnamese, Laotian or Cambodian could buy another type of insurance.This type of insurance covers free medical treatments including vaccination. The fees are Bt2,700 for one-year coverage (including a health-check fee of Bt500) for adults and Bt363 for children aged under seven years old.”If you are outside the social security system, you can buy such insurance,” Amnuay said.At present, Thailand is host to millions of migrant workers.

By: The Nation

Published on: 6 April 2015

One-stop service opens nationwide for migrant workers today

BANGKOK, 1 April 2015 (NNT)-The Ministry of Interior is opening migrant worker registration offices across the country today. The move is said to help keep human trafficking and illegal entry at bay.

According to the Permanent Sectary to the Ministry of Interior, Wiboon Sanaungpong, the cabinet has endorsed the proposal to set up a migrant worker system and set up one- stop service offices nationwide.

Presently, there are 81 one-stop service offices altogether in Bangkok, Chonburi, Samutsakhon, Samutprakarn and Rayong, just to name a few.

Mr. Wiboon added that the registration will prevent migrant workers of Laotian, Cambodian and Burmese nationals previously granted another extension to their stay from becoming human trafficking victims.

It will assure that the migrant workers are paid based on the number of hours they work. The Ministry of Interior is also planning to collaborate with other agencies to fulfill the government’s wish to eradicate the country’s chronic human trafficking problems.

By: National News Bureau of Thailand

Published on: 1 April 2015

Labour Minister Excels Management Of Foreign Workers After March 31

The Labour Minister has excelled directions for the management of foreign workers which is scheduled to end on the 31st March, coordinating with Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia to propel the citizenship verification process. Employment of foreign workers under Article 14 has expanded particularly in the fisheries industry in the 22 coastal provinces starting on the 1st of April, with emphasis that government officers must work proactively with visa fees of 500 Baht for Myanmar, Laos and Cambodian workers.

Labour Minister General Surasak Karnjanarat presided over the second subcommittee meeting to coordinate issues of foreign workers of the year. After the meeting, General Surasak said, “The Ministry of Labour is currently determining the direction for managing foreign worker issues after the 31st March 2015. The Ministry is working proactively in many areas simultaneously such as the acceleration for citizenship verification on workers from neighbouring countries where there has already been 1.6 million workers registered. However, the process cannot only be done by Thailand, it also requires the collaboration of origin counties too where there have already been talks with representatives from the neighbouring countries. Myanmar has assigned 5 teams to be stationed at the One Stop Service Center and another 21 special working teams to gather information on the citizenship verification process to submit to Thailand. Laos is currently arranging a team of officers which will increase the capacity on the verification process, with Cambodia also undergoing further processes. In any case, the 1.6 registered workers may not all be able to go through the verification process due to the complexity in the procedure to register or change employers, travel to origin countries and not returning and the request for foreign workers to enter/exit the border on a daily basis in accordance to Article 14 of The Foreign Workers Act. Some groups of foreign workers may also migrate to work along the borders or the Special Economic Zones as there is no necessity for further registration.”

Moreover, policies on the management of foreign worker issues after the 31st March were presented to officials and officers in provincial employment offices nationwide, reiterating a proactive approach and working ethically, staying clear of recruitment companies which could damage the reputation of the organization. The Ministry of Labour has consulted with relevant agencies such as the national army, navy, air force, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Health, Royal Thai Police, Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Interior and the Bangkok Administration Office to prepare locations and a workforce to support citizenship verification procedures after the 31st March 2015. Foreign workers will be categorized into 4 groups consisting of (1) those that have passed the verification process already and have been granted a work permit at the provincial Employment Office in effect until the 31st March 2016 (2) those who have provided a name list for the verification process but have not been able to do so, will be exempted and allowed to stay within the country until the 31st March 2016. This group must report themselves to get a new card and permit at One Stop Service Centers nationwide, starting from the 1st April 2015 to the 30th June 2015 (90 days). This group will be allowed to work until the 31st March 2016 (3) those who have not provided a name list within the 31st March 2015 will be inspected, arrested and retuned back to origins in accordance to the National Council on Peace and Order’s commandments number 100 and 101, and (4) family members under the age of 15 years must report themselves to get a new card with the foreign worker within the 30th June 2015. Family members who report themselves will have the same rights as the worker themselves, however if they do not report themselves, they too will be asked to leave the country with the worker. During the extended verification period between the 1st April to the 30th June 2015, the Labour Minister asked that all authoritative units have some leniency during this period. If workers that have not gone through the process are found, he asked that officers and officials help provide information and advise them to proceed correctly during the allocated time. The Labour Minister also reiterated that officers involved in misconduct will result with severe disciplinary measures.

The resolution to shortages in the fisheries industry that passed the cabinet on the 3rd March 2015 saw fit for there to be open registration for foreign workers in fisheries, particularly in the 22 coastal provinces. The request for work and registration period will go on for 90 days starting from the 1st April 2015 at the One Stop Service center. In addition to this, the Ministry of Interior announced ministerial regulations on visa fees for Myanmar, Laotian and Cambodian workers for temporary stay in the kingdom, being single usage whereby passing the citizenship verification process and holding a passport of identity certificates with a fee of 500 Baht per person.
A total of 1,626,235 Cambodian, Laotian and Myanmar works have been registered with the filing of national verification for 284,246 workers and 126,685 already completed (information as of the 25th February 2015).
By: Puttachat Intasawa, Bureau of Public Affairs, Ministry of Labour
Published on: 23 March 2015

Thailand And Myanmar Collaborates On Managing Foreign Workers Emphasizing Good Neighbour Relations

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Thailand and Myanmar have joined together to drive systematic management of inflowing workers, emphasizing collaboration on the foundation of being good neighbours. The Labour Minister highlighted that the 10 ASEAN countries will need to work closely together in terms of labour and skill standards. Myanmar is also ready to send 5 working teams to be stationed at service centers and 21 teams specifically to collect information on the citizenship verification for Thailand.

In the Ministers meeting between Thailand and Myanmar, Labour Minister General Surasak Karnjanarat talked about the policies by Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha on the 10 ASEAN member countries having to cooperate on the foundation of close relations, encompassing understanding for each country’s problems. Resulting from this, the resolution for different issues will need collaboration from all members for communal benefits. Therefore, he said that in forming the ASEAN Economic Community towards the end of 2015 and entering into the AEC in 2016, the 10 ASEAN member countries must cooperate more on labour issues. The conclusions from the meeting on this occasion was a direction to creative solutions for the future.

“In finding resolutions for Myanmar workers in Thailand, all parties should leave behind past problems and forget worries for what may happen after today. I hope that all parties turn all problems into easy solutions with clear understanding of one another,” said the Labour Minister.

The Labour Minister further said that in the past, Thailand was an exporter of workers, but have now become both an exporter and importer of workers. He added that if Thailand and Myanmar maintain a close relationship, there will likely be increased flexibility for workers along the border by using a border pass. There have also been studies on special entry types into the Special Economic Zones in Thailand which look promising. The Labour Minister reiterated that there must be collaboration on the standards of skills in order to set targets for the future on skill standards on a local, regional and international level.

The Minister on Labour, Employment and Social Security of Myanmar stated that he considered the meeting a successful one for both parties. On behalf of Myanmar, he thanked Thailand for the time period extension for the citizenship verification process by extending the time for pink card holders by 1 year. Furthermore, Myanmar claimed preparedness in sending 5 teams to station at the One Stop Service centers and another 21 teams specifically to collect information on Myanmar workers holding pink cards. Operations for this will commence around May and will finish around November of 2015. For those that have no passed the verification or are still in process, the teams will issue a Certificate of Identity within the 1st April 2016.

“The special working teams collecting data will send the information to officers and officials in Thailand. The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security will ensure continuous close collaboration with Thailand for the benefit of both sides. Any issue that can be resolved from this consultation will be presented to the Cabinet of Ministers in Myanmar for further facilitation,” said the Myanmar Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Security.

On the 19th March, the Thai Ministry of Labour and the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security met on a Ministerial level for the MOU on employment and to report progress on the registration and citizenship verification of Myanmar workers in Thailand. The meeting also allowed for the acknowledgement on the management of labour, the extended time period for the citizenship verification of Myanmar, Laotian and Cambodian workers and resolutions for labour shortages in the fisheries industry by the Cabinet on the 3rd March 2015. In the meeting, there was also the revision on the Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand and Myanmar on labour issues with Deputy Permanent Secretary Mr. Arrug Phommanee and Mr. U Myo Aung, Minister of the Labour, Employment and Social Security from Myanmar as national representatives.

By: Wichulada Buachai, Bureau of Public Relations, Ministry of Labour

Published on: 20 March 2015

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