Officials from Burma, Laos and Cambodia gave their support to new Thai labor policies on regulating migrant workers. The new policies drafted by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) are intended to reduce problems and protect workers’ rights and conditions.
The Bangkok Post cited Laos’ ambassador to Thailand Mr Ly Bounkham who was speaking last week at the opening of a one-stop-service centre in Samut Prakan Province and said.
“The labour management policy is good since it can prevent labour abuses of migrant workers and prevent other problems, including human trafficking,” he said.
The diplomats from Burma, Laos and Cambodia at last week’s opening of the one-stop-service –centre voiced their support for Thailand’s new labor regulations as recently introduced by the NCPO.
The Bangkok Post reported that the Ambassador for Cambodian, Ms Eat Sophea said that the “setting up of a one-stop service centre would help workers gain the labor benefits to which they are entitled.”
Ms Eat Sophea said that workers would benefit from the new policies.
“I want to express my appreciation of the NCPO’s decision to establish the one-stop service centre and I’m confident all undocumented workers will be registered with it. Under their new legal status, workers will have their rights protected.”
Burmese diplomat, U Win Maung, requested workers from his country to register at the one-stop-service-centres to get their entitlements and to do the go through the nationality verification process.
“I would like to urge Myanmar (aka Burma) workers in Thailand to take part in the registration process because it will help you receive the benefits you deserve.”
Zaw Min 35, a Burmese migrant worker working in Mae Sot district of Tak province for more than seven years agreed with the official request.
“We will be better off in getting our rights when we have visa and other proper documents,” Zaw Min told Karen News adding that it was hard for him when he first came to work in Thailand without proper documents.
“According to our experience, most of the new comers [migrant worker] are vulnerable to exploitation over wages, working conditions and working hours as they don’t know their entitlements.” Zaw Min said.
The Thai armed forces Chief-of-Joint staff, Sirichai Distakul who led the one-stop service inspection warned in The Bangkok Post that “those who have been taking advantage of migrant workers to stop doing so, or face punishment.”
Ma Zin Mar, a legal aid officer with Yaung Chi Oo Worker Association, a community based Burmese workers’ rights group based in Mae Sot, welcomed the new policies and its intention to solve problems of human trafficking and workers’ right protection.
Ma Zin Mar told Karen News that in order to make improvement to the current situation, the new policies have to put in place a process that is clear and with a fair cost for migrant workers.
“The most important factor is that the process needs to be affordable, systematic and clearly understandable to migrant workers. Then, this will help solve the current problems, otherwise it will not make any differences,” Ma Zin Mar said.
The Thai Labour Ministry has confirmed that Thailand has about 2.2 million registered migrant workers. Officials believe that this new plan will benefit those estimated two million migrant workers.