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Service centres opened in Thailand

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodian migrant workers on a construction site in Thailand. Reuters

The Thai government has decided to open 80 one-stop service centres nationwide for Cambodian workers in Thailand to get the legal documents that they have already applied for until the end of June.

The Cambodian embassy in Thailand issued an announcement to all Cambodian workers, telling them to obtain their documents from one of the 80 OSS centres.

“The Cambodian embassy in Thailand wants to inform Cambodian workers who have already registered with the Thai authority to know that the Thai authority will process their documents at 80 OSS centres nationwide,” it said.

“Four centres are located in Bangkok and 76 other centres are located in the provinces to provide new non-Thai national identification cards or new pink cards.”

The announcement said the processing would begin yesterday and run until June 30.

The Thai authority will only provide new pink cards to workers who have already registered and they will also provide resident visas and work permission cards to workers who have passports or travelling documents and Overseas Cambodian Worker Cards.

“All OSS centres will be open for processing from April 23 until June 30, 2018,” it said. “So, everyone please hurry up to comply with this procedure at the OSS centre in the province where you work.”

Dy Thehoya, programme officer at labour rights group Central, said yesterday it was good that Thai authorities were doing this for Cambodian workers.

“It is good that the Thai government has extended the process until the end of June,” he said. “It could be because Thai employers will face punishment or fines if their workers have not registered to become legal workers, they may face a lack of workers, or other reasons.”

Mr Thehoya said that according to a Thai report, about 60,000 migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have not yet registered for legal documents.

However, he thought the figure was probably much higher.

“I do not have the exact number of Cambodian workers who have not registered to be legal workers, but as we work closely with Cambodian workers in Thailand, I think that around 200,000 workers from those countries have not yet registered for legal documents,” he added.

According to the Bangkok Post yesterday, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has urged Thai employers and the migrant workers they employ to strictly comply with the registration process and complete it by the deadline.

The report said the 80 OSS centres will process the registration of the remaining migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia who have yet to complete it.

It said a total of 1,320,035 migrant workers nationwide – about 96 percent – registered with the Thai Labour Ministry from February 5 to March 31.

According to a report of the Banteay Meanchey provincial anti-trafficking committee, a total of 9,935 Cambodian workers were sent back from Thailand over the first three months of 2018 for illegally staying there.

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