Thursday, July 3, 2014

Special Report: Thailand opens One-Stop-Service Registration Centers for alien workers

Samut Sakhon is the first province to have set up a one-stop-service registration center for migrant workers in order to reorganize foreign workers from neighboring countries, mainly those from Cambodia. 

At the centers, illegal migrant workers can register to work legally in Thailand. The establishment of the centers will prevent the smuggling of illegal workers, especially for the fishing industry. 

It is in line with the roadmap of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), which is determined to address the issues of migrant workers and human trafficking in three phases. The first phase involves the registration of migrant workers, which leads to the second phase, nationality verification, and to the third and final phase, requests for work permits. 

A large number of Cambodian workers who have returned to their country recently have begun to come back to work in Thailand. The NCPO has coordinated with Cambodian authorities to set up labor reception centers on both sides to ensure decent living standards and working conditions for workers. Arrangements have been made for employers and employees to meet directly in order to prevent labor mafias or influential groups from exploiting the migrants. 

The Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labor, and the Immigration Bureau are also joining hands in setting up coordination centers in four provinces for Cambodian migrant workers who seek to return to work in Thailand. The four provinces include Sa Kaeo, Chanthaburi, Trat, and Surin. 

The coordination centers began operating on 26 June 2014. Their duty is to issue temporary work permits, so that employers can register their Cambodian workers within 60 days in the provinces where the latter are to work. 

As for the one-stop-service registration centers, Samut Sakhon is the pioneering province, opening its door on 30 June 2014. The centers will also be established in 21 other coastal provinces, starting from 7 July 2014 onwards. 

Samut Sakhon Governor Arthit Boonyasophat believes that the management of migrant workers based on the “Samut Sakhon model” will bring about significant changes. For instance, better protection will be provided for migrant workers, who at the same time will also have greater access to the welfare system on a par with international standards. 

According to the Governor, the registration of migrant workers at the one-stop-service registration centers would continue until 30 July 2014. The registration procedures have been shortened and carried out with transparency. 

Meanwhile, local entrepreneurs engaged in seafood manufacturing cited the Samut Sakhon model as an effective way to bring migrant workers into the system. By so doing, manufacturers would be able to increase their production capacity. They also believed that the public sector could encourage trading partners and importers to be more confident in Thai products.


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