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Thailand issues work documents to 126,172

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea / Khmer Times Share:
Migrant workers waiting to be taken to their quarantine centres after entering the Kingdom via the Cambodia-Thai border. KT/Chor Sokunthea

As of February 8, more than 126,000 Cambodians have been issued with legal work documents by the Thai authorities.

In announcing this on Friday, Minister of Labour Ith Samheng said according to the Thai authorities’ census report, as of February 8, a total of 126,172 Cambodians have been granted legal documents to work in Thailand.

To protect the interest of the Cambodian workers, Samheng, who is also the chairman of the Commission for the Legalisation of Cambodian Workers Residing and Working in Thailand, said the ministry will provide all necessary assistance to help these workers renew their travel documents.

He said the ministry will also initiate measures and action plans to respond effectively to all queries and provide whatever support they can to help Cambodians stay and work legally in Thailand, especially at this moment of time with the COVID-19 crisis.

Samheng said the Thai government will crack down on foreign workers who cross the border illegally into Thailand. However, the Thai government has yet to confirm this move.

“To protect the interests of our workers working in Thailand, the commission will cooperate with the Thai authorities to ensure they stay and work in Thailand,” he said, adding that the commission will also assist those who have no legal documentation with the procedures of getting one besides those who need to renew their travel documents.

Dy Thehoya, programme officer at the Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights, said yesterday that according to their research, there are about two million Cambodian workers in Thailand, of whom about 60,000 are working illegally.

He said there were three main reasons why Cambodians leave their homeland to work abroad. For example, they are not able to get jobs in the Kingdom, they owe money to creditors or banks and they can earn more overseas.

Due to COVID-19, Thehoya said more than 100,000 Cambodians have returned home due to lay-off by their employers.

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