Thai Government Should Revoke Policies that Discriminate Against and Violate Rights of Migrant Workers – ASEAN States Should Join Migrant Convention
Fri, 17/12/2010 – 14:08
On International Migrant’s Day (18th December 2010), the State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation (SERC), the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) and the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) requests the Royal Thai Government (RTG) to re-open registration for all migrants in Thailand, review its deportation policy, cooperate with the United Nations in examination of violation of migrant rights, repeal discriminatory policies affecting migrants including wage deductions for a deportation fund and formulate long term migration policies in response to actual labour demand. Thailand and others members of ASEAN should also sign and ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and Their Families.
Migration is not new to Thailand as for 20 years the RTG’s policies have allowed for yearly registration of migrants who illegally entered the country so they could “temporarily live and work in Thailand whilst awaiting repatriation”. Migration policy was developed through Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with Lao PDR, Cambodia and Myanmar in 2002 and 2003 with the aim to enhance cooperation in importing labour legally into Thailand and verifying nationality of migrants who originally entered the country illegally.
In 2010, over 1 million migrants registered with the RTG. It is estimated the actual number of migrants and their dependents in Thailand is at least 2 million however, with more than 80% from Myanmar. Although political, social and economic pressure as well as ethnic and civil conflict in Myanmar constitute the main push factors for migrants coming to Thailand, low skilled labour demand also plays an important role as a pull factor. This is particularly the case for work which is demanding, dirty, and dangerous and that Thai workers normally avoid such as fisheries, agriculture and construction. According to research, dependency rates for migrants in Thai production sectors range from 9% to 16%. Migrants contribute greatly to increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and need for migrant labour in Thailand will likely increase with economic growth in the future. Continue reading “Thai Government Should Revoke Policies that Discriminate Against and Violate Rights of Migrant Workers – ASEAN States Should Join Migrant Convention”
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