Temporary passports to Myanmar migrant children in Thailand
13.FEBRUARY 2013 EMG
The government plans to issue temporary passports to undocumented children of Myanmar migrant workers living in Thailand, the deputy minister of labour told Eleven Media on Monday.
According to Myint Thein, the deputy minister of labour, over 200,000 children are living with their migrant parents in Thailand and half of them are attending community schools, which are taught in Myanmar language.
A total of 147 community schools have been opened in Thailand and the government is under negotiation with these schools for them to follow the curricula of state schools in Myanmar and get them donations from local well-wishers.
“The children only have birth registration. They don’t have any documents that show their citizenship. We have arranged to issue them these temporary passports as they will have difficulties coming back to the country (Myanmar),” said Myint Thein.
He said the two countries are still under negotiation about the temporary passports due to visa fees.
The Thai government wants to charge Baht 900 for the visa fees, but the Myanmar government has requested them to only charge Baht 500 as the children do not have any salaries. The Thai government said it will take at least six months to amend the by-law before fixing the visa fee at Bhat 500 for the children, according to the deputy minister.
Although the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003 to start a nationality verification system for the Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand, the system was not started until 2009.
Eleven one-stop service centres have been opened in Thailand for the registration of Myanmar migrant workers and temporary passports will be issued to them starting from February 15.