MYANMAR-THAILAND: Urgent Clarity Needed as 4-Year Thailand Migrant NV Deadline Expires

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By The State Enterprise Workers’ Relations Confederation of Thailand (SERC), the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC), the Migrant Worker Rights Network (NV Deadline ExpiresMWRN) and the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)

There are an estimated 3 million foreign migrant workers in Thailand, over 80% originating from Myanmar. Since the late 1980s, these workers have irregularly crossed borders to work in mostly dirty, dangerous and demanding jobs in Thailand thereby significantly contributing to Thailand’s economy and providing billions of dollars in remittances to support relatives in origin countries. These workers continue to face significant exploitation and confusing piecemeal government migration policies.

In 2002/3, after decades of neglect on developing a systematic migration policy in Thailand the Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos PDR governments all separately signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thailand on regularisation of the status for millions of irregular migrants in Thailand. On 15th July 2009, migrants from Myanmar began to undergo a nationality verification (NV) process.

Following NV, workers from Myanmar are issued: (a) a 3-year temporary Myanmar passport for use between Thailand and Myanmar, extended to 6-years validity in 2011; (b) a 2-year Thai visa, renewable for 2 years only; and (c) they can then apply for work permits. Since 2010, 70, 000 workers from Myanmar also have entered into Thailand regularly through the MoU import channels. Continue reading “MYANMAR-THAILAND: Urgent Clarity Needed as 4-Year Thailand Migrant NV Deadline Expires”