Over 34,000 Myanmar migrant workers return home despite Thailand's delay of new labor decree

Myanmar migrant workers on Thai officials' service trucks as they leave from Thailand to Myanmar, at the Thai-Myanmar border in Mae Sot, Tak province, northern Thailand, 01 July 2017 (issued 03 July 2017). Photo: EPA

A total of 34,069 undocumented Myanmar migrant workers have returned home as of Wednesday although Thai authorities have delayed the full enforcement of a new labor law introduced last week, the Ministry of Labor, Immigration and Population said Thursday. 

The law, which is aimed at tackling human trafficking concern and regulating foreign workers in Thailand, sparked panic and prompted more than 60,000 foreign workers to flee from the country, many of them are from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. 

The influx has overtaxed social agencies and border crossing as border gates restricted the number of crossing to only 100 people a day, causing hardship for many Myanmar migrants who do not have enough food and lodging while waiting for the border crossing, reports said. 

The new decree imposes heavy fine on employers and employees who do not have work permits. 

There are about 4 million legal and 1 million illegal Myanmar workers reportedly staying in Thailand. 

In a bid to solve the problem of undocumented Myanmar migrant workers who are returning home out of fear of the new labor law, authorities of the two countries are negotiating on issuing official documents to the workers, the ministry added.

Courtesy Global Times

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