Category Archives: Migration Policy in Thailand
A one-stop service centre for Myanmar migrant workers whose visas have expired will be set up in December according to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security.
The centres will open at the Myanmar embassy in Thailand, as well as in border towns such as Mai Sai (Tarchileik), Maesot (Myawaddy), Khttkhee, Mautaung, and Ranaung (Kawthaung).
“We are going to open one service centres in border areas like Tarchileik and Myawaddy,” said an unnamed official of the Ministry.
The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security will issue a red passport instead of previous temporary passport for Myanmar migrant workers with expired visas. The workers need to come to the centres at the respective border areas with their I.D cards and other necessary papers.
There are over 30,000 Myanmar migrant workers whose visas have expired according to the Migrant Worker Right Network.
For the Myanmar workers to continue working in Thailand, an agreement has been made with Myanmar and Thailand. The agreement on opening one-stop service centres for the migrant workers was discussed at a Myanmar–Thai workers coordination meeting held in October.
By Eleven Myanmar
Published on 4 Decemebr 2013
U Sein Htay, leader of the Migrant Worker Rights Network, announced on14 October that over 2,000 Myanmar workers based in Mahachai, Thailand, have filed workplace complaints within the past year.
U Sein Htay reported this figure at a workshop on migration and mediaheld in Yangon.
Workers have cited issues such as physical injury, withheld salary, and inability to extend work permits.
The Migrant Worker Rights Network also reported that from 2008 to 2012, only one in two hundred laborers received full compensation for costs associated with injuries sustained on the job.
U Sein Htay said that agencies in Thailand could not effectively resolve conflicts related to Myanmar workers.
He and the Migrant Worker Rights Network assert that Myanmar employment agencies associated with the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Welfare, which send local workers to foreign countries, are responsible for handling these problems.
“[These agencies] should take responsibility when complications arise. The government should also urge them to assume accountability,” said Dr. Thein Than Win, a supporter of workers’ rights.
U Win Myint, managing director from Greenway Overseas Employment Agency in Tamwe Township, is advocating for the punishment of local agencies that illegally send workers overseas.
There are three to four million Myanmar workers currently stationed in Thailand.
Publihed on 16 October 2013
BANGKOK, 10 October 2013 (NNT) – Thai authorities have rescued 10 Myanmar workers who have been forced to work on a fishing boat for months.
Tharit Pengdit, director general of the Department of Special Investigation, said the International Organization for Migration had asked the agency’s counter human trafficking center to help six Burmese who had crossed the border into Thailand to look for jobs in Thai manufacturing plants but were instead forced to work on a fishing boat and subjected to physical abuse.
DSI found them and four other workers, three of them minors, on a boat owned by a Thai owner.
During the investigation, those workers said they were sold and forced to work on the ship without pay and were physical ly abused.
A foreman and his assistant were arrested and charged with human trafficking and holding workers against their will.
Thailand’s seafood exports are the third largest in the world in value terms. International labor advocate groups have accused the industry of using forced labors, mostly from Myanmar. Many of the migrants in search of better opportunity in Thailand are said to have been trafficked, exploited, abused and even murdered aboard Thai fishing vessels.
The Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security says that Thai authorities will open five temporary passport-issuing centres for Myanmar migrant workers whose visas in Thailand have expired.
The centres will be opened at the Myanmar Embassy to Thailand in Bangkok, and in Ranong, Chiang Mai, Maha Chaing, and Surat Thani, where most Myanmar migrant workers live.
“Five groups in Myanmar left for Thailand on September 14 to assign duties at five temporary passport-issuing centres. During this week, we are going to issue temporary passports to Myanmar migrant workers,” an official from the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security said.
Under a new agreement between Myanmar and the Thai government, Myanmar migrant workers who present their temporary passports to Thai authorities will be permitted to stay and work in the Kingdom. Moreover, Myanmar has asked Thailand’s Labour Ministry not to arrest Myanmar migrant workers whose visas have expired but to provide assistance to such workers when they are fined. According to the Migrant Workers Right Network, the bilateral agreement also allows Myanmar migrant workers who have resided in Thailand for three years to re-enter the country after staying one month in Myanmar.
Myanmar and Thai authorities were set to continue discussions on the matter this month.
According to the report of Thailand’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, temporary passports had been issued to 1.7 million Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand.
Meanwhile, there are more than 1,000 Myanmar migrant workers whose visas have expired but who are still working in Thailand. They are vulnerable to exploitation by the unscrupulous brokers they approach to extend their visas.
By Eleven Myanmar
Published on 19 September 2013
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra yesterday expressed grave concern over migrant workers’ livelihoods and other related humanitarian problems.
Ms Yingluck chaired a meeting between relevant agencies, NGOs and international bodies at Government House. She urged participants to work in collaboration to create systematic solutions that are in accordance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We shall find proper solutions to take care of migrants with fairness,” she said. “We must offer them health care and convenience.”
The government yesterday set up four committees to tackle the long-standing problems of migrant labour.
Committee members comprise government officials, and representatives from migrant advocacy groups and international agencies.
There has been high demand for migrant labourers while a large number of migrants have been waiting to undergo the nationality verification process to work legally in Thailand, Ms Yingluck told the meeting, which was attended by Public Health Minister Pradit Sintawanarong, Labour Minister Chalerm Yubamrung, and Social Development and Human Security Minister Pavena Hongsakula.
Also in attendance were representatives from international bodies such as the World Health Organisation, Unicef, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Dr Pradit said problems related to migrants, ranging from human trafficking, crime and health issues, stemmed from their illegal status which led them to go into hiding.
“The government cannot approach them to give them aid,” he said after the meeting.
“To solve the migrant-related problems, we have to encourage them to come out so that we can help them.”
It is estimated about two to three million migrants, mainly from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia, and Laos, are living in Thailand, he said. The government’s infrastructure development projects are expected to attract more migrants to seek work opportunities in Thailand.
In order to solve the existing problems and to prepare for an influx of more migrants in the future, participants at the meeting agreed to set up the four committees.
The first committee, led by the Labour Ministry and Social Development and Human Security Ministry, has the task of studying and compiling the problems migrant labourers face in Thailand.
The second committee, jointly formed by representatives from civil society and relevant government agencies, has the job of educating migrants about the benefits they will receive after legally registering with authorities.
“Migrants do not register because they lack the necessary information,” Dr Pradit said. “This committee will work on providing information to migrants and employers.”
The third panel, comprising representatives from international organisations, will share knowledge obtained from their experiences in working on the issue with Thai authorities.
The final committee, led by the Interior and Public Health ministries, will work on streamlining the national verification process.
By Paritta Wangkiat
Published on 6 September 2013