Tailandia - Migrant workers still face exploitation (2011)

While the government introduced a National Verification (NV) and registration process for migrant workers, little changed at the level of exploitation at the hands of Thai authorities or in the workplace. In July, the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) called for an independent investigation into the deportation of Burmese migrants because those deported under the government’s NV program suffered human rights abuses at the hands of regime-backed ethnic armies in Karen State. Other repressive measures against migrant workers were also implemented with the Labour Ministry issuing a regulation requiring migrant workers to contribute to a repatriation fund starting on 1 January 2011. Under the regulation, Burmese and Laotian workers are required to pay a total of THB400 a month while a Cambodian worker needs to pay THB350 a month through payroll deductions by their employer. The money will be used to cover the government’s expenses in the event a migrant worker is deported. Authorities also decided that migrant workers should not have children. The Labour, Social Development and Human Security ministries want to impose contraception on migrant workers. The Labour Ministry said it was focusing on the boom of children born to migrant workers, with the Social Development and Human Security Ministry saying such children were prone to be victimised by human trafficking due to their illegal residence.

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