Registration period for illegal migrants to be extended

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BANGKOK, 11 May 2012  – Employment Department Director-General Prawit Kiangpol says the period for nationality verification for illegal migrant workers should be extended. 

Mr. Prawit said not all illegal migrants would be able to claim their nationalities by June 14th, 2012. To solve this issue, he will propose to the Cabinet to consider an extension of the registration period.

The most common illegal migrant workers in Thailand are from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. There are currently 8 registration centers. Three are in Chiang Rai, Tak and Ranong provinces which are able to accommodate 3,000 – 4,000 people daily each.

Meanwhile, 5 other centers recently opened in Surat Thani, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Chiang Mai and Bangkok can only provide the service to 300-500 migrant workers a day. Mr. Prawit attributed the delay to inexperienced staff members at these centers as they were new to the jobs. Besides, the opening of the five centers had been delayed by 80 days due to a few formalities. This has indeed delayed all the other processes involved in giving alien workers the rights to work in Thailand, he added.

According to him, more than 700,000 migrant workers remain unaccounted for. Around 500,000 of them are Burmese nationals and the rest are Cambodians.