The Labour Ministry announced on Friday that the Thai government agreed to extend the deadline for Cambodian officials to complete registration and work permit delivery to Cambodian migrant workers by six months.
Labour Minister Ith Samheng met with his Thai counterpart and visited the nationality verification centre for Cambodian workers in Thailand over a two-day trip last week.
Thai authorities will give up to six more months to Cambodian officials to provide legitimate paperwork for every Cambodian worker in the country illegally, including a pink card, letter of affiliation with employers, and authorization to travel between the two countries without fees in order to make a valid passport and Overseas Cambodian Workers’ Card.
“Cambodia also asked Thailand for its help in broadcasting the necessity of these documents to Cambodian workers,” the ministry said. “Cambodia will also create more working groups and a mobile group at the Thai government’s request to issue documents as fast as possible.”
Both countries will enhance an information technology system to facilitate the registration of Cambodian workers who want to live in Thailand. Both sides also agreed to continue providing social protection, social security for working accidents, healthcare, life insurance, and pension funds for the workers.
It is estimated about one million workers are still waiting for verification, among them 450,000 from Cambodia, 360,000 from Myanmar, and 140,000 from Laos.
“The nationality verification period needs to be made more flexible,” said Thai Labour Minister Adul Sangsingkeo.
Mr Samheng welcomed Mr Sangsingkeo’s deadline extension.
Dy Thehoya, program officer at labour rights group Central, lauded the government’s efforts yesterday, but expressed doubts the extension period would be sufficient.
“I’d like to suggest authorities allow all workers to get legitimate paperwork without setting a deadline,” he said.