Panel outlines plan to fix migrant woes
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Panel outlines plan to fix migrant woes

The National Committee on Migrant Workers Management has approved three guidelines aimed at easing the country's labour shortage and addressing the problem of illegal workers in Thailand.

A proposal is expected to be sent to the cabinet soon for approval.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn said after a committee meeting on Wednesday that the political conflict in Myanmar between junta forces and ethnic rebel groups caused many people to flee to Thailand without documents, a move affecting national security.

Some Myanmar workers also chose not to return to their country after their employment contracts ended due to the unrest, he said.

Meanwhile, there are migrant workers, including those from other countries, who failed to renew their documents in time, causing them to become illegal, he said.

To mitigate these problems, the committee has agreed to register illegal workers from Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in Thailand, Mr Phiphat said.

The committee also looked into extending the work permits of 2 million migrants whose permits are due to expire on Feb 13, 2025, the labour minister said.

These workers will be given a two-year extension under the mechanism of a memorandum of understanding, he said.

The committee also proposes a law amendment on seasonal migrant workers to support farmers during longer growing seasons, he said.

The amendment focuses on increasing the number of zones where migrant workers are allowed to temporarily work, extending the permission period from three months to six and adding shopkeeping to the category of jobs that are allowed for temporary employment, he said.

Somchai Morakotsriwan, chief of the Department of Employment (DoE), said that the department plans to submit the proposal to the cabinet soon.

Workers with illegal status will receive deferments after a cabinet approval, he said.

They can call the Labour Ministry's 1506 hotline or the Department of Employment's 1694 hotline or visit for further information, said Mr Somchai.

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