1.2 million illegal workers register with Thai government


  • AseanPlus News
  • Monday, 02 Aug 2004

BANGKOK: Around 1.2 million illegal foreign workers made Saturday's deadline to register with the Thai government, reports said yesterday.  

The government gave illegal migrants until Saturday to register their presence in the country. 

The Employment Department said Myanmar people topped the list of illegal workers with around 850,000 registering.  

Those from Laos ranked second highest with over 180,000 followed by Cambodia with around 170,000 workers. 

The campaign kicked off on July 1 with the government offering a temporary amnesty to illegal workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. 

The registration aims to give them legal status and some benefits, such as health care. 

After registering, they need to pay US$15 (RM57) for a medical exam, US$32 (RM121) for medical insurance and US$47 (RM178) for a work permit. 

Those who employ foreign workers must also register, an Employment Department worker, Sujit Samphalon, said. 

This gives everyone the chance to register and comply with the law, Sujit said.  

Illegal workers in Thailand are often forced to shell out their meagre pay to unscrupulous policemen who threaten them with deportation unless they pay up or are exploited by unfair employers who fail to pay minimum wage and sometimes work them in slave-like conditions. – dpa  

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