Category Archives: Migration Policy in Thailand

Migrant workers have until the end of October to get registered

BANGKOK, 15 October 2014 (NNT) – The Department of Employment (DoE) said the number of registered migrant workers since the end of June until the middle of this month has reached as much as 1.3 million people. Most of them are from Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos respectively.

Of that number, there are a total of nearly 530,000 Burmese nationals, around 200,000 Laotians, and almost 600,000 Cambodians. The total number of 1.3 million also consists of their family members who are not being employed in Thailand.

The DoE is urging employers to bring their migrant workers to the registration office to be declared of their nationality by the end of this month.

Employers who fail to legalize their workers will be subject to a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 baht per worker. A migrant worker will also be sentenced to 5 years or less in prison and receive a fine of 2,000 to 100,000 baht, or both.

By: Nuppol Suvansombut and Chaite Naasiri, National News Bureau of Thailand

Nationality identification verification of migrant workers starts next Monday

BANGKOK, Oct 11 —  A new round of nationality identification verification of migrant workers and their dependents in Thailand will start next Monday, said Sumet Mahosot, director-general of the Labour Ministry’s Employment Department.
Mr Sumet said more than 1.2 million Myanmar, Cambodian and Lao migrant workers and their dependents have officially registered with the department.
Discussions with Cambodian officials were held earlier and the Phnom Penh government indicated they would dispatch five teams of officials to assist Thai authorities in the nationality identification process, which would start in Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon,  Chachoengsao and Chon Buri provinces, said Mr Sumet.
Under agreements made with the three neighboring countries, each migrant worker will have to pay Bt1,500 to the Thai government, he said.
The expenses include Bt500 for a visa stamp, Bt100 towards an employment certificate and Bt900 for a certificate allowing the worker to seek employment in Thailand for one year.
The Employment Department has, meanwhile, informed employment  agencies nationwide to recruit would-be migrant workers with transparency while department officials are forbidden from providing any extra services to agencies.
Employment Department officials nationwide are scheduled to hold a meeting next Thursday at the headquarters in Bangkok.
By: MCOT Online News

Thailand arrests, repatriates 100 workers

More than a hundred illegal Cambodian migrant workers smuggled into Thailand were arrested and sent back home yesterday, according to Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Thai media reported the Cambodians had been hiding in forest near the border town of Aranyaprathet waiting for traffickers to take them to Bangkok.

But the traffickers – who Thai police suggested had heard of an impending crackdown – never showed up, leaving police to arrest the migrants en masse.

Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said the migrant workers, 86 men, 42 women, and a boy and a girl of unspecified age, were arrested yesterday morning and eventually transferred to Cambodian authorities, arriving back in the Kingdom in the afternoon.

“[They were arrested] only yesterday, [and stayed] not even a day in Thailand,” Kuong said.

The workers then separated and started making their way home. None were charged or punished in any way on arrival in Cambodia, Kuong said.

Thai media reported the migrants had paid 2,500 baht ($77) each to a Cambodian trafficker to take them to Bangkok.

Cambodians are allowed to work in Thailand by registering with a list of approved agencies that legally send them to the country, but some avoid the agencies due to high fees and a lack of transparency.

Last month, police arrested the owner of a phony work agency in Phnom Penh after workers protested they had arrived in Thailand with no jobs on location, despite paying a hefty $350 finder’s fee.


By: Charles Rollet, The Phnom Penh Post

Labor law to be enforced to prevent migrant workers fleeing their jobs

BANGKOK, 7 October 2014 (NNT) – The Labor Ministry will consider confining job searches for migrant workers as border provinces are still experiencing labor shortages.

Permanent-Secretary for Labor Nakorn Silpa-archa said that many migrant workers often seek employment in other provinces despite their registration in another. The search for job opportunities beyond their registered province has left the shortage of workers unresolved, particularly at Mae Sot District in Tak province.

According to Mr. Nakhorn, the money which business owners have invested in obtaining work permit for these workers have gone down the drain, as they ran away and looked for jobs in other provinces. Therefore, the Federation of Thai Industries in Tak province will propose to Labor Ministry to enforce section 14 of the Labor Law.

This section of the law stipulates that the employment for migrant workers will be confined within the province which they obtained their work permit. In other words, they will not be allowed to seek job opportunities elsewhere except in the province they have registered for their permit.

Many business owners in Tak province have been reluctant in bringing their workers to the Central Registration Office, as the application cost is high and their employees could find an opportunity to run away.

The Labor Ministry will also discuss with the Foreign Affairs Ministry regarding the interpretation of the border pass. It is not legally certain at present if the border pass can also be used instead of a passport in obtaining a short term employment in Thailand for these workers or not.

By: Nuppol Suvansombut and Chaite Naasiri, National News Bureau of Thailand

Burmese Migrants, Thai Recruiters Arrested in Mae Sot

CHIANG MAI, Thailand — Thai authorities in the border town of Mae Sot have arrested scores of Burmese migrant workers and a group of Thai nationals accused of illegally recruiting them, the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok has confirmed.

The authorities in Thailand’s Tak province arrested the gang on Sunday at a house in the Mae Pa Ward of Mae Sot, the Thai news portal quoted local officials as saying.

Eight Thai nationals accused of running the recruitment operation and 75 Burmese people believed to have been recruited by the men have been detained, the website reported.

Thai authorities will reportedly charge the Thai men with facilitating the migrants’ illegal entry into Thailand, and the Burmese men will also face immigration charges.

The Burmese labor attaché to Thailand Thein Naing told The Irrawaddy that the Burmese Embassy had been informed of the bust.

“Our groups in Mae Sot reported about it to us,” he said on Wednesday.

The official said it would be difficult to intervene on behalf of the detained Burmese nationals since they had entered Thailand illegally.

“They entered [Thailand] illegally and we find no reason to ask Thailand not to take action against them according to its law,” he said.

A steady stream of Burmese people enter Thailand either legally or illegally every day, drawn to the neighboring country due to economic hardship at home and the government’s failure to create decent jobs in Burma, according to Htoo Chit, executive director of the Foundation for Education and Development, which assists migrant workers.

“It is easy to cross the border and it [illegally crossings] also happens frequently because of the corruption of departmental personnel at different levels,” he told The Irrawaddy. “Personally, I think certain departments both in Burmese and Thai sides must have been involved in it.”

There are approximately three million Burmese workers in Thailand, up to one million of whom are estimated by migrant advocacy groups to be in the country illegally. A national verification process initiated jointly by the Thai and Burmese governments in 2009 had allowed more than 1.7 million migrants to be issued temporary passports through August 2013, allowing them to work in the Kingdom legally.

Among those who are often left out of the temporary passport issuance scheme, labor rights groups say, are victims of Burma’s civil war who have fled their homes, leaving behind the household registration certificates and national ID cards required to qualify for the national verification process.

By: Kyaw Kha, The Irrawaddy

Back to Top