(11 Sept) The demands of the 1,000 striking workers at the Dechanpanich Fishing Net Factory in Khon Kaen continue to fall on deaf ears.
Holding a temporary passport has given no protection of the rights of Burmese workers at the Dechapanich Fishing Net Factory in Khon Kaen. The workers have to work one and a half hours free every day from 5.00pm to 6.30pm to pay off the cost of the passport and are not allowed to maintain possession of their passports. When six workers were fired for taking more than three days leave a month, they demanded the return of their personal documents, and found that the word “cancel” had been casually written next to their visa.
Thailand's Ministry of Labor warned Thai employers not to bring any migrant workers to join ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra's supporters, who are scheduled to launch a major anti-government protest in Bangkok this weekend.
Three persons were killed and five were wounded after being shot by Thailand's security forces in the southern part of the country. All the victims were identified as Burmese who were trying to enter Thailand illegally. Two of the dead were children aged two and four, according to Burmese workers living in the area.
On 18 Jan, human rights organizations and activists send a letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva for concerns over the issue of migrant workers in Thailand, the Burmese in particular, as their permits will expire in January and February, while the nationality verification process has proved to be ineffective and risky for the migrants.
20th Jan 2010 marks the renewal deadline for the first batch of 70, 000 Burmese, Cambodian and Laotian migrants working in Thailand whose work permits will expire on that day. The next date for the expiry of all the other work permits of migrants from Burma, Cambodia and Laos (approximately 930, 000 officially registered persons) is 28th Feb 2010.
Since December 2008, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) has increasingly stressed its policy that migrant workers from Burma currently in Thailand must enter a nationality verification process (NV). NV is apparently required to change migrant’s status from persons who illegally entered Thailand to persons who are legally resident here, as well as to allow migrants to legally work and receive legal protection equal to Thai persons.
In a landmark rights victory in Thailand, the Department of Transport (DoT) has announced that migrants from Burma, Laos and Cambodia, as well as a number of other minority groups, can now register ownership of vehicles and will soon be able to apply for driving licenses. The decision overturns a 15-year old discriminatory National Security Council (NSC) policy denying these rights on vague national security grounds. The positive impact will be felt by well over 1 million registered migrants and other minority persons in the country.
The Thai Government recently reiterated its policy to formalise the status of around 2 million migrants from Burma working here - nationality verification (NV).
On 20 October 2009, Nang Noom Mae Seng, a disabled migrant work accident victim, and two other Shan migrants petitioned the Supreme Court of Thailand to overturn a Social Security Office’s (SSO) circular (RS 0711/W751, issued on 25th October 2001) they claim discriminates against over 2 million migrant workers in Thailand.