For­eign­ers flout­ing draft law could face immigration trou­ble

The Myanmar Times - - News - NYAN LYNN AUNG nyan­lin­aung@mm­

FOR­EIGN work­ers in breach of a law await­ing pas­sage could face penal­ties, immigration of­fi­cials say. The labour min­istry is fi­nal­is­ing a draft law for sub­mis­sion to the Of­fice of the Pres­i­dent that seeks to more tightly reg­u­late for­eign work­ers in the coun­try.

The draft in­cor­po­rates com­ments al­ready re­ceived from the Attorney Gen­eral’s Of­fice last month, the last stage in its draft­ing.

Labour and immigration min­istry spokesper­son U Nyint Win told The Myan­mar Times, “We’re mak­ing the fi­nal ad­just­ments to the text in light of the Attorney Gen­eral’s Of­fice’s com­ments be­fore send­ing it on to the pres­i­dent.”

The in­tro­duc­tion of work per­mits for for­eign work­ers has been in the pipe­line for eight years, while the govern­ment has been ne­go­ti­at­ing with Union of Myan­mar Fed­er­a­tion of Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try (UMFCCI) mem­bers.

U Nyint Win said the adop­tion of the law would open the way for the govern­ment to take ac­tion against peo­ple work­ing here il­le­gally.

“We can cal­cu­late from sta­tis­tics how many qual­i­fied for­eign work­ers are re­quired in each in­dus­try, and iden­tify and take ac­tion against il­le­gal labour,” said U Nyint Win, adding that the law would not af­fect lo­cal work­ers.

Min­is­ter for Labour, Immigration and Pop­u­la­tion U Thein Swe said the law would in­clude rules for for­eign work­ers and in­ter­na­tional in­vest­ments. “For­eign work­ers will have to fol­low the law once it is en­acted,” he said.

For­eign work­ers are work­ing un­der many types of visa, which means fewer job op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal residents. As the vol­ume of for­eign in­vest­ment rises, more work­ers are ex­pected to ar­rive from abroad. There­fore, the for­eign work­ers law should be sub­jected to reg­u­la­tion, said labour an­a­lyst U Aung Lin.

“We warmly wel­come this de­vel­op­ment, which is long over­due. Many for­eign work­ers are al­ready here work­ing. The labour min­istry should take this up with the Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice to bring out the law as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said.

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