September 23, 2017

Thailand to issue work IDs to Myanmar workers

Myanmar migrant workers sort shrimp at a wholesale market in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, on 4 July 2017. Photo: REUTERS

Thailand’s Ministry of Labour recently announced they will issue worker identity (ID) cards to workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos who are in Thailand with no legal documents or are considered illegal immigrants.
Those who possess no legal documents will be required to request their employers to register them in centres set up across Thailand from 27 July to 8 August. The labour office will issue a demand letter and the worker must apply for a passport at the centres or back in Myanmar. After receiving the passport, the worker must take out a visa from the respective township in Thailand and register for health insurance in government hospitals. They must also apply for a work permit in an employment agency. The complete procedure will cost 2,950 baht.
The announcement apparently brings to an end the controversy created when a decree was issued in part to tackle human trafficking concerns raised by the international community. The move sparked a panic and prompted about 60,000 foreign workers, including thousands from Myanmar, to flee Thailand. In early July, as the exodus of workers continued, the Thai government acquiesced and delayed enforcement of the new labour law. On 6 July, Thailand announced they would issue worker ID cards, though thousands of Myanmar workers who returned to their native villages financial and relocation challenges.
In Myanmar yesterday, the Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr. Win Myat Aye helped Myanmar workers returning from Thailand in Myawady, Kayin State with legal help, vocational training and welcoming camps.
The Union Minister oversaw departmental officials, Tatmadaw officials and humanitarian organisations helping returning Myanmar workers at the welcoming camps. He supervised the legal procedures for workers who will be returning to work in Thailand and instructed them to abide by the rules and regulations of the two countries.
The Union Minister thanked officials at the welcoming camps who ensured the Myanmar workers could safely return to their respective homes. He said they are ready to accept more workers returning from Thailand.
The Union Minister then conferred a cash donation of Ks5 million to purchase a fiberglass boat for use in natural disaster prevention and search and rescue operations in Myawady District.
The Union Minister together with the Kayin State Chief Minister then attended the 69th ceremonial birthday of Myaing Gyi Ngu Sayadaw. He donated Ks10 million for displaced people taking shelter in Myaing Gyi Ngu. He met with villagers who fled from conflict zones and discussed with them and camp officials about his ministry’s plans to provide vocational training and meet the current requirements of the villagers.
The Union Minister said the ministry will provide cash assistance for use as capital in the traditional loom weaving businesses of the villagers. He gave words of encouragement to the people and said he believes everybody will be able to one day return to their respective villages and have security and proper income for each individual and their family. The Union Minister also donated Ks13,209,200 for purchasing rice provisions and Ks500,000 for use as capital in the loom weaving business. –Myanmar News Agency, Kyaw Soe (Kawthoung)

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