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Ministry seeks cabinet nod for registration of illegal workers

Ministry seeks cabinet nod for registration of illegal workers

THAILAND: The Interior Ministry is seeking the cabinet’s approval to allow up to a million illegal migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to register for legal employment in its bid to contain the spread of COVID-19, a ministry source said.

CoronavirusCOVID-19healthMyanmarimmigration
By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 29 December 2020, 09:58AM


There are between 2.3-2.5 million legal migrant workers in Thailand, while up to a million more are believed to be living and working illegally in the country, according to experts’ estimates. Photo: Bangkok Post.

There are between 2.3-2.5 million legal migrant workers in Thailand, while up to a million more are believed to be living and working illegally in the country, according to experts’ estimates. Photo: Bangkok Post.

The ministry is expected to ask for the cabinet’s approval at a weekly meeting set for later today (Dec 29).

If the cabinet approves the plan, the ministry would invoke Section 17 of the Immigration Act to make the registration of illegal migrant workers possible.

There are between 2.3-2.5 million legal migrant workers in Thailand, while up to a million more are believed to be living and working illegally in the country, according to experts’ estimates.

The proposed changes will only apply to illegal migrants from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar who entered Thailand before today. Any migrants who illegally entered the country after today won’t be eligible for the reprieve, the source added.

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The move is intended to help the government keep track of illegal migrants in the country, so they could be included in the government’s disease control plans. Experts have said undocumented migrants are a major stumbling block to keeping local transmission in check.

Once registered, migrant workers who already have an employer will be able to continue working for the same employer, said the source.

As for newly-registered migrant workers who are not employed, the government will find jobs and employers for them, said the source.

Most importantly, as part of the new registration, the migrant workers will have to undergo a COVID-19 test and follow strict virus control protocols, the source added.

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Kurt | 29 December 2020 - 12:25:38

Is this a move of influential Sino-Thai families to secure their cheap labor force? The 'move' sure keeps salaries immigrant workers low.

Kurt | 29 December 2020 - 12:23:11

'Believed' up to 1 million foreigners living/working in Thailand.  Guess Thai Immigration not happy with this Ministerial publication. Does it agree with 'Experts' estimation? Why this action as many Thai are unemployed, does that make sense, to make in one move 1 million illegals legal? Even give them support to find jobs when they are unemployed. Initiative influential Sino-Thai ...

 

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