Thailand : IOM-Migrant Info Note No 12 August (en)

Under stricter immigration laws, the number of illegal immigrants in Thailand will increase

Human rights advocates have asserted that if the Thai government tightens their immigration laws it will only result in more individuals entering Thailand as illegal immigrants.

According to the Bangkok Post on July 20th, 2011 if Burmese, Cambodian, or Laotian migrant workers in Thailand wish to change their employment they must first notify the Thai government.

Thailand’s Director of Management for foreigner workers, said to the Federation for Education and Development (FED) “there is now a new law, since we could not follow the old law to solve the answer. We didn’t know when the workers changed their jobs and the employers served new temporary passports to new workers. Therefore we needed to solve [this issue].”

Additionally, the new law would require workers wishing to change their employment to first notify their current employer. Illegal workers may gain legal status only if their employers have passed away, withheld wages, or tortured their employees. This adversely affects illegal immigrant workers who wish to seek alternate employment in situations other than those listed above.

One reason for the creation of the new law is the issue of job scarcity in the fishing industry; many fishery employees are leaving without notifying their employer first, Somkiat Chayasriwong, Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Labor, told the Bangkok Post.

Ms. Po Po, the Deputy Director of the Federation for Education and Development (FED) based in Southern Thailand’s Phang-Nga province, acknowledged this issue by stating, “Burmese workers may wish to change their employers. If the Thai [government] is enforcing their law more strictly than before there will be more illegal workers and that will make it difficult for the government to control employers and the workers”. Furthermore, Ms. Po Po asserted that the government should enforce this law fairly and equally to both workers and employers.

http://www.ghre.org/

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