“Migrants have to say as he/she has yet to submit the NV form, he/she will submit it prior to 31 March 2010.”

Only 3 days remain for Burmese migrants
An internal document of the Thailand’s Ministry of Labor said Burmese migrants will have one more month extension to fill in the nationality verification (NV) forms with his/her biographical information to submit to their home governments if he/she agrees to go through the NV process by the original deadline, 28 February 2010, according to Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF).

Migrant workers will have until 31 March 2010 to submit the NV forms after they signed agreement to enter the NV process. If they [migrant workers] don’t agree to go through the NV process by 28 February, their work permits will not be renewed and they shall also be subject to arrest and deportation, according to the document.
It said, “Migrants have to say as he/she has yet to submit the NV form, he/she will submit it prior to 31 March 2010.”

And if migrant workers agreed to enter into NV before 28 February, but do not submit their documents by 31 March 2010 as agreed, the Kor Tor 13 extension of their work permit will be revoked. Moreover they shall be arrested and immediately deported.

However, up till now, almost all of migrant workers are still worried about providing their personal information to the Burmese authorities. According to Sein Htay, a spokesperson for Mahachai office of HRDF, there were many workers who are not willing to go through the process, they therefore left their jobs and returned home. But back home, they have nothing to do for a living and are finding it more difficult to survive than they expected.

“Then some migrants have to re-enter Thailand to work,” he said. “It was a waste of time and money. We don’t want this kind of problem.”

Anyhow, most workers were believed to have finished submitting the agreement form because they were asked to submit the form at the same time when they re-applied for work permits, he said.

Currently, over 30,000 out of around 2 million migrants are holding temporary passports.

According to him, the HRDF will join hands with other organizations to do what they need to do to prevent migrants from abuses.

At the same time, the Labor Committee of the Lower House will be holding a seminar on the NV process from 13:35 to 16:30 tomorrow, 26 February.

The HRDF is reported to have appealed to the Thai government to consider the following issues;

To extend more time to submit the process,
To move passport offices into Thailand,
To control brokers that cheat money from migrants,
To inform more widely to reach migrants
To create new options for migrants until they receive passports and
To open new registrations for migrants who don’t have any papers or documents but who are already working in Thailand.

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