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Pattaya Daily News

07 June 2009 :: 12:06:34 pm 36890

To Be Open to Immigrant Workers In Thailand

The Government will offer an opportunity for immigrant workers to register before bringing them into the labor system, so that they will be able to continue to work in Thailand.
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According to Labor Minister Phaithoon Kaewthong, immigrant workers in Thailand are divided into two groups. The first group comprises 400,000 to 500,000 workers, who have been granted work permits to work here. The second group consists of 400,000 workers, who are now working underground.

Minister Phaithoon said that Cabinet approval for the registration of immigrant workers would be given about two or three weeks from now. After that, it would take another three weeks for the Ministry of Interior to issue an announcement for the registration. Immigrant workers would have one month to register at district offices, municipalities, or village head offices. This would be the last registration for immigrant workers here, and the registration would be valid until 28 February 2010.

Regarding those who entered illegally into Thailand, Mr. Phaithoon said that they would be subject to nationality verification first, before temporary passports would be issued for them. Then work permits would be granted, so that they would be allowed to work here for not more than two years each time. They would be allowed to renew their work permits only twice. This regulation is intended to bring immigrant workers into the labor system and prevent illegal entry into Thailand. Moreover, it will ease the problem of immigrant laborers working underground in Thailand. After being registered, the immigrant workers would receive living allowances and welfare.

Immigrant workers are allowed to engage in such activities as agricultural production, mining, livestock-related industries, paper manufacturing, and the garment trade.

Thailand has managed the employment of illegal immigrant laborers since 1996 to cope with an influx of illegal workers from neighboring countries, particularly from Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. Its economic stability has attracted these workers to come for a better income. Because several business sectors in Thailand have faced labor shortages, it proved unfeasible to deport alien workers and permanently exclude them from the country’s labor market.

The high demand for inexpensive labor has been undermining all efforts, on the part of the authorities, to stop the inflow of illegal immigrants. Businesses requiring even more labor, especially of the unskilled kind, include mining, transportation, fishery, rubber tapping, horticulture, cash crop farming, construction, and industrial manufacturing; also high in demand are domestic workers.

Facing this problem, the Government has offered opportunities for illegal immigrant workers to register for work permits. It also sees the need to rearrange the management of immigrant workers to reduce illegal immigration.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Thailand News

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