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AUTHORITIES have started a crackdown on undocumented migrant workers nationwide after the deadline for proper registration ended over the weekend, with more than a third of a million workers from neighbouring countries having obtained their required permits in the latest round of registration.
Labour Minister Adul Saengsingkaew said 99.73 per cent of migrant workers in the government’s database, mainly from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, had already reported themselves to authorities and were properly registered to work in Thailand before the June 30 deadline.
Altogether, a total of 347,067 workers were processed at the ministry’s one-stop service centres nationwide. As a result, labour officials and police have started to enforce the migrant labour law and crack down on those working illegally in Thailand.
According to Adul, 156,569 Cambodians, 18,210 Laotians and 172,288 Myanmar nationals were registered with the labour ministry’s one-stop service centres in the latest registration round. Previously, another 840,736 migrant workers were registered with Thai authorities, bringing the total number of registered migrant workers in Thailand to about 1.18 million over the first six months of this year.
Based on the January 16, 2018 Cabinet resolution, labour authorities were required to have these migrants properly registered to work in Thailand. The first deadline was March 30, while the second and last deadline was June 30.
Altogether, 350,840 Cambodians, 59,746 Laotians and 777,217 Myanmar nationals were properly registered to work in the country by the end of June.
From July 1 onwards, Thai authorities will step up inspections and other efforts to enforce the law. Migrant workers who are found to have violated the law will be subject to a fine of Bt5,000 to Bt50,000 per person. Violators would also be sent back to their home countries and cannot return for a two-year period.
Employers with undocumented migrant workers are subject to a fine of Bt10,000 to Bt100,000 per worker.
Repeat offenders are punishable with a fine of Bt50,000 to Bt200,000 and a jail term of up to one year. They will also be barred from hiring migrant workers for three years.
Adul said Thailand now has a total of 3.2 million migrant workers, including about 1.18 million who were registered and got their permits during the January to June period.
Meanwhile, immigration police in the South convened a meeting over the weekend to draw up clear guidelines for the crackdown. Pol Maj-General Jessada Yaisoon, who heads the Immigration Police Region 6, said the crackdown started yesterday.