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Myanmar: Thailand to issue residential permits to migrant children

News and Press Release
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by Kyaw Kha

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - The Thai government is working on issuing official residential permits to children of migrant workers their country.

The children between 5 and 15 years of age of migrant workers hailing from Burma, Laos and Cambodia must apply for registration at municipal offices and mayoral offices not later than December 18. This registration process started in the third week of last month.

"The submission of registration forms will close on December 18. This process will be extended to December 28 for those whose applications are not yet completed," Refugees and Migrant Workers Affairs Department under the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) In-charge Thet Khaing told Mizzima. He also said that he had heard that the issuance of residential permits would be started on the 2nd of next month.

The cabinet meeting held on November 3 decided to issue residential permits.

The children, who reached Thailand before July 2009 and those who were born in Thailand are entitled to apply for the residential permit. Moreover the parents of the children must have similar residential permits, and a guarantee given by their employers and stay together with their children in the same locality.

In the form, the date of birth, place of birth and address must be filled up and submitted along with the 2"x2" passport size photographs of the applicant. After submitting the form, they are issued residential permit (Form Thau Rau 38/1), Burmese migrant odd job worker Tin Oo from Bant Khu Thi Ran Township in Thailand said.

"They asked us to produce the registration certificate of the mother and the father. Then we had to fill up the personal details and bio-data of our children in the Form (Thau Thau 1). Those children who can read and write can fill up this form in Thai language otherwise we have to dictate the personal details of our children and they fill up this form on our behalf," he said.

The fees at the time of submission of the form is Thai Baht 20 and another Baht 60 must be paid at the time the permit issued, it is learnt.

The officials from the Thai Education Department in Bangkok and Mae Sot invited principals from schools in Mae Sot for migrant children to their office in last August and discussed with them health care, education and official residential status for these children.

In the meeting, the Thai authorities agreed to issue residential permits with 13-digit registration numbers similar to that of Thai children, Mae Sot based Burma Migrant Workers Education Committee (BMWEC) Chairwoman Naw Phau Ray who attended the meeting told Mizzima.

"I think they should apply for this permit for the future of these migrant children and for their education," she said.

Similarly another Mae Sot based organization 'Yaung Chi Oo' Migrant Workers Association General Secretary Moe Swe told Mizzima that the migrant workers in Thailand should apply for such residential permits for their children by taking into consideration the security and official status for their children.

Social workers working for Burmese migrant workers estimate the number of Burmese migrant workers working in Thailand at about 2 million and their children at about 200,000.

(Edited by Ko Wild)