One-stop centers for registering illegal workers set up in Chonburi

Friday, 18 July 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 29 By  Urasin Khantaraphan

The National Council for Peace and Order has opened two one-stop service centers, one each in Huay Yai and Bangsai, to help Chonburi employers register and legalize their illegal migrant laborers.

Col. Sirichai Distakul, armed forces chief of joint staff and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Transnational Labor and Human Trafficking, joined envoys from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to inspect both of the Laborers One-Stop Service Centers in Chonburi July 7, welcomed by Gov. Khomsan Ekachai.

Col. Sirichai Distakul (center right), armed forces chief of joint staff and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Transnational Labor and Human Trafficking, inspects the registration process for foreign workers at Huay Yai’s one-stop center in the Eastern National Sports Training Center.Col. Sirichai Distakul (center right), armed forces chief of joint staff and chairman of the Sub-Committee on Transnational Labor and Human Trafficking, inspects the registration process for foreign workers at Huay Yai’s one-stop center in the Eastern National Sports Training Center.

The delegation reviewed registration forms, the medical-check process, and visa-issuance procedure.

Khomsan said the first day at the Eastern National Sports Training Center in Huay Yai saw 34 employers take advantage of the service. Registered were 25 Burmese men and 13 women, most of whom worked in construction or as maids. Three Laotians, and 595 Cambodians - 322 men and 257 women and 16 children - also were registered.

Two happy workers show off their new I.D. cards.Two happy workers show off their new I.D. cards.

The envoy visited the second center in Chonburi the same day, although no official figures were reported.

A pilot center opened first in Samut Sakhon Province June 30, issuing temporary working visas to migrant laborers. Judged as successful, the center has been replicated in Chonburi, Rayong, Ayutthaya, Chachoengsao, Surat Thani and Songkhla.

Fishing companies were given until July 21 to register their foreign crews.

Anan Pongsa, owner of the Koon-anan Supply Cooperative, said her recruiting firm originally employed more than 1,000 migrant workers, but 700 fled after the NCPO announced a crackdown on illegal workers.

Migrant workers wait for their turn to register and become legal workers in Thailand.Migrant workers wait for their turn to register and become legal workers in Thailand.

She said she registered 80 workers, but will take a loss on them, as she is absorbing all the cost of the fees in hopes they’ll stay on the job.

Thida Ok, 28, of Cambodia, said she has been working as a maid for Billion Enterprise Co. and was pleased the company chose to legalize her. She said she earns 10,000 baht a month, about 4,000 baht more than she can farming rice at home.

Her only complaint is that the temporary visa is only for 60 days. She wants the NCPO to allow it to be extended.

Khomsan said the one-stop center at the Eastern National Sports Training Center in Huay Yai is responsible for the registration of migrant workers in Banglamung, Sriracha, Sattahip, Bothong, Nong Yai, Koh Sichang and Koh Chan districts. The one-stop center at the Chalermprakiet Pavilion in Bangsai is responsible for the registration of migrant workers in Panat Nikhom, Panthong, Muang and Banbung districts.

Chonburi is expecting to register about 500 workers per day in each center through Aug. 6.

The Chonburi Public Relations Department contributed to this report.

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