Thursday, 28 May 2009

Illegal workers in Thailand to be legalised

The Nation has the news that 2 million illegal migrant workers will be allowed to stay in Thailand until February 2010 when they will need to register legally to remain.

Illegal immigrants are not just a problem for the West, Thailand is plagued with illegal immigrants in areas near the country's borders. Many arrive to work in labour industries for wages which, although low for Thailand, represent a better opportunity than at home.

Northern areas have particular issues with visitors, often from Burma, who play cat and mouse with police trying to avoid the vehicle stop-searches which check visas to root out illegal stayers.

This move is interesting as it is an acknowledgement that the problem has become unmanageable. Rather than working to turf out existing illegal workers AND stop more joining, the police will just focus their efforts on preventing more entering the country.

The article has further info:
Once registered, the around 2 million or so migrant workers will be allowed to work in the sectors of fishery, marine food processing, farming, livestock, construction and domestic services. Getting them registered is a move to stop more from entering Thailand and working illegally.All workers will be allowed to work illegally in Thailand until February 28, 2010. 

After that they will be required to register with provincial labour offices, apply for medical checkups and pay health insurance fees, before applying for a work permit. A national joint effort by police, the military and civilian authorities will begin before the deadline to keep more migrants from entering Thailand.


Talen said...

I swear I just heard 100,000 Lao workers heave a sigh of relief.

I think if they moved to remove the illegals construction would grind to a halt taht's why they are looking to let them stay...and hopefully tax them.

Mike said...

I know locally we have a lot of folk from Myanmar, whether they are illegals I don't know, but I guess they could be.

As Talen says I fancy they won't mind and it does at least give Thailand more control over the issue.

The FrogBlogger said...

Where I lived until December, there was a depot - a glorified big shack really - over the road, crammed to the gunnels with Burmese construction workers, illegals all of them. I could see inside when they opened the sliding doors, conditions were grim to say the least. They lived, slept, cooked inside, when they weren't working. Never did anything else, from what I could see.

Paid a pittance - even workers from Surin (plenty of those two in Chiang Mai too) are well off in comparison.

Could never see the government being serious about kicking them out, the construction industry is in enough difficulty as it is. As for paying health insurance fees, either the premiums will have to be extremely low or the employers will have to triple their wages!

These workers have no rights. I've watched how Thai employers treat them, as inferior beings. They can be sacked at a moment's notice without any justification.

Ronoh said...

I hear that 90% of everyone working in Kaosan Road ar second generation Maynmar imigrants. They are hard working people. I wich theme good luck.