After the decree passed by the Thailand’s junta, a military government ruling since 2014, to delay on various parts of a new labor law that were aimed at regulating the foreign workforce, a panic sparked and prompted more than 60,000 foreign workers to flee from the country Thailand’s junta, a military government ruling since 2014.
Junta has invoked Article 44 to issue a security order as that gives it power to push through policy, to delay the law that imposes heavy fines on employers and employees who do not have work permits.
Wissanu Krea-ngam , Deputy Prime Minister said that as the international community raised concerns, about human trafficking, original decree was issued. He further added that they had issued this law as the foreign community watches them in cases of human trafficking. Failure to do this would have led non purchase of their goods. Though he did not elaborated if the government would delay implementation of four sections of the law for 6 months but as per the labor ministry it would suspend parts of the law until January in order to give both workers and their employers more time to get their work permits.
Last month The U.S. State Department left Thailand on a Tier 2 Watchlist, in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report as it failed to take enough steps to tackle human smuggling and trafficking.
Thailand, as per the records has as many as 3, 000, 000 migrant workers of them most of them without legal documents which makes them prone to vulnerable to exploitation by brokers and sometimes traffickers. But the real figure may be far higher. The migrants are basically from the poorer neighboring countries, including Myanmar and Cambodia.
Migrant Workers Return to Myanmar:
Around 5,000 workers returned to Myanmar who were predominately employed in Thailand for low-skilled jobs like fishing sector, in agriculture, construction, and manufacturing and as domestic workers.
The new regulations have caused a shortage of workers in the construction and fishing sectors.
Property development and construction have felt the brunt of the departures.
In the fishing port of Mahachai, south of Bangkok and workers and business people mostly from Myanmar were worried.
How People reacted:
An executive at a Bangkok construction firm said they had lost 75% of their workers overnight.
A Myanmar worked, Kway, 36, though had a work permit but his wife and young child did not have proper papers.
Ton, 46, a shrimp vendor criticizing the new legislation said that the fishing businesses needs a large labor force and it is work that no Thai wants to do.
The manager of a grocery shop said that many people were afraid to come out of their homes.