Thailand deported more than 70,000 Myanmar workers in 2018

Thailand deported over 70,000 undocumented Myanmar workers in 2018, the Myanmar labour attaché in Bangkok said in a statement on Wednesday.

Many of those deported voluntarily turned themselves into Thai immigration authorities in order to be transferred to the custody of the Myanmar government so their papers could be processed and their stay in Thailand legalised, the statement said.

But some were caught during the crackdown by Thai authorities on illegal workers, it added.

“According to an agreement between the two governments, the workers would be allowed to return to Thailand to work once they receive their documents,” Myanmar labour attaché U San Maung Oo said on Wednesday.

In 2018, 651 Myanmar migrant workers were transferred via the border crossing at Tachileik in Shan State, while 70,740 Myanmar workers were transferred via the border crossing at Myawaddy in Kayin State, and 3340 workers were transferred through Kawthoung township in Tanintharyi Region.

The labour attaché office said 246 of these workers were victims of human trafficking.

Under Thai labour law, a foreign worker without a work permit faces a fine of 5000 (K239,181/US$155) to 50,000 baht, deportation, and a two-year ban from the kingdom.

Businesses that hire illegal migrants face a fine of 10,000 to 100,000 baht for each one they hire.

About 20,000 Myanmar workers leave for Thailand every month under the labour agreement between the two countries, not including those who enter Thailand illegally, according to Myanmar embassy officials and migrant rights activists in Thailand.

Source: Myanmar Times

Written by Zaw Zaw Htwe

Published on 3 January 2019


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