Thai­land warns for­eign work­ers of dead­line

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­

Thai­land said it will not ex­tend its dead­line at the end of June for for­eign work­ers to com­plete the le­gal­i­sa­tion process of their stay, warn­ing they could be de­ported and banned from get­ting a work per­mit for two years.

THAI­LAND’S Min­istry of Labour warned for­eign work­ers to fin­ish the le­gal­i­sa­tion process be­fore the dead­line on June 30, or “aliens who fail that process will be de­ported and banned from hold­ing a work per­mit for two years.”

“I would like to em­pha­sise that the govern­ment will not ex­tend the dead­line,” an official of the labour min­istry said in a state­ment.

He said over 37,000 for­eign work­ers need to prove their cit­i­zen­ships and more than 93,000 oth­ers need to fin­ish the le­gal­i­sa­tion doc­u­ments, such as work per­mits, visas, health in­surance at the One-stop Ser­vice cen­tres through­out the king­dom.

The De­part­ment of Em­ploy­ment said that for­eign work­ers who fail to get the proper doc­u­ments in time will not be al­lowed to stay and work in the coun­try.

It said it will co­op­er­ate with the rel­e­vant agen­cies to mon­i­tor aliens who con­tinue to work with­out fin­ish­ing the le­gal­i­sa­tion process.

A for­eign worker with­out a work per­mit can be fined up to 50,000 baht (US$1555/K2.11 mil­lion) and must be de­ported. Those de­ported for work­ing with­out a per­mit will be banned for two years from the date they are de­ported.

Em­ployer who hire il­le­gal mi­grants must be fined up to 100,000 baht for each alien they hire, the min­istry warned.

Myan­mar Pres­i­dent U Win Myint is in Thai­land and is sched­uled to meet with Prime Min­is­ter Prayut Chan-ocha.

Dur­ing a meet­ing with em­bassy of­fi­cials in Bangkok on Thurs­day, U Win Myint said the em­bassy should co­op­er­ate with Myan­mar work­ers rights groups to le­galise out­lawed Myan­mar cit­i­zens and en­sure the labour rights of Myan­mar mi­grant work­ers are re­spected and they re­ceive all ben­e­fits due them by their em­ploy­ers.

Thai-based Myan­mar mi­grant rights ac­tivists ex­pect that U Win Myint would be able to come up with deals with the Thai leader to im­prove the wel­fare and pro­tec­tion of mi­grants work­ers.

“Thai au­thor­i­ties will be go­ing to ar­rest il­le­gal mi­grant work­ers start­ing on July 1. So, our govern­ment of­fi­cials need to dis­cuss with Thai of­fi­cials the pos­si­bil­ity of ex­empt­ing our work­ers from the crack­down op­er­a­tions” said U Aung Myo Thant, le­gal ad­viser of the Myan­mar em­bassy in Bangkok.

There are over three mil­lion Myan­mar work­ers in Thai­land, over 350,000 of whom are work­ing there un­der an agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries.

Last year thou­sands of un­doc­u­mented Myan­mar work­ers rushed home af­ter the Thai govern­ment im­posed harsh pe­nal­i­ties to il­le­gal work­ers.

‘I would like to em­pha­sise that the govern­ment will not ex­tend the dead­line.’ Thai­land Labour Min­istry official

Pres­i­dent U Win Myint and his wife meets with Myan­mar Em­bassy of­fi­cials in Bangkok. Photo: Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice.

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