DoE approves over 140,000 alien workers
New migrant MoU hits ground running
Applications for employment in Thailand have been approved for more than 140,000 migrant workers through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with three neighbouring countries, according to the Department of Employment (DoE).
Employers have lodged applications with the department to bring in 167,961 migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, said DoE director-general Pairoj Chotikasathien yesterday.
Among them, 117,029 are being sought from Myanmar, 38,933 from Cambodia and the balance from Laos.
Of the applications filed so far, 144,709 have been approved.
More than 10,000 Cambodian and Lao migrants have so far arrived on the MoU-based employment visa. However, far fewer have come from Myanmar due to the country's ongoing political unrest.
Mr Pairoj said importing labour requires bilateral cooperation and certain hindrances are simply beyond Thailand's power to deal with.
He said the department has devised an effective system of importing labour to take care of the shortage problem while also reducing the chances of Covid-19 being transmitted among workers.
For the 2.1 million migrant workers currently in the kingdom, they are permitted to apply to extend their employment without having to travel back to their own countries to do so.
Those migrants currently in the country and those wanting to come in via the MoU should ensure a sufficient domestic supply of migrant labour at least until early next year, according to Mr Pairoj.
Labour demand is steadily rising as economic activities are being restored after more than two years of stagnation due to the pandemic.
However, Mr Pairoj said there has been no headway in setting up one-stop service labour recruitment centres in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia.
He warned employers not to hire illegal workers to avoid the risk of triggering large-scale Covid-19 infections.
Meanwhile, 10 migrants were found abandoned near a forest road in Omkoi district of Chiang Mai yesterday, said the district's centre for national security.
The migrants, seven of them women, were unloaded from a pick-up truck driven by Seksan Suparanana.
Soon after he picked them up from the border with Myanmar, he became aware of the authorities' plan to catch the illegal border crossers and those responsible for transporting them.
Mr Seksan decided to leave them on the roadside.
He was stopped at a checkpoint near Ban Sop Lan in tambon Yang Piang where he allegedly confessed to having been paid 11,000 baht to transport each of the illegal crossers to their employers.
He led the police to the spot where he left the migrants. Mr Seksan said there were also illegal border crossers in two other pick-up trucks.