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Registration for illegal migrant workers starts June 15

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Bangkok (Mizzima) – The final chance for illegal migrant workers in Thailand to begin legal registration will start on June 15. Registration will last about one month.

Thailand’s Department of Employment (DoE) has announced that registration forms are available at all regional DoE offices, The Nation newspaper reported.

Employers must pay 1,300 baht (US$ 40) per worker for a health-insurance deposit, 600 baht per worker for a medical examination, 100 baht for an application fee and an annual permit fee of 900 to 1,800 baht depending on the type of work and location, according to the newspaper.

‘When all workers are entered into the system, they can be protected and paid more fairly, while being monitored and controlled more effectively. This will lead to better proficiency in terms of social and economic concerns,’ The Nation quoted official Suthassanee Suebwongphaet as saying.

After the deadline, employers who hire illegal workers could be fined 10,000 to 100,000 baht per worker, while illegal migrant workers could face a maximum five-year jail term or a fine of 2,000 to 100,000 baht.

During an earlier registration period for illegal migrant workers in August 2009, about 1.3 million migrant workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia registered. But in 2011, after the February deadline, just 845,139 workers renewed their registration, according to the Ministry of Labour.

There are a total of 550,003 migrant workers from Burma, Laos and Cambodia who hold temporary passports in Thailand. A total of 352,748 are from Burma. Workers support groups estimate that there are about two million Burmese migrant workers, both legal and illegal, in Thailand.