NCPO Plans Nationwide Centres to Lure and Legalize Migrant Labourers

 | Tue 1 Jul 2014 19:35 ICT

CityNews – The National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) has opened a one-stop service centre in Samut Sakhon on Monday, 30th June, which promises to process foreign workers with more ease and efficiency than ever before.

Many migrant workers live in camps like this one.

The plan was formed by the NCPO in a bid to curb the recent exodus of Cambodian workers leaving Thailand, and to possibly soothe the country’s wounded reputation for human trafficking, which has been receiving international reproach. In future, the NCPO also hopes to create specific housing zones for these workers.

Many industries in Thailand rely heavily on the use of illegal foreign workers, many of whom are often exploited, abused, and sometimes not even paid for their labour. The province of Samut Sakhon alone houses an estimated 100,000 illegal workers from neighbouring countries, whose labour is crucial to the construction and fishing industry in the region.

The NCPO says that 22 more centres will follow, placed in various coastal spots around the country, and that they will provide temporary work permits to foreign workers. Then, after 60 days, the workers will be able to apply for a permanent work permit (renewable by the year) once passing the procedure and providing a legitimate passport.

While the Kingdom tries to clean up its image as the worst place in the world to be as a foreign worker, it is also desperate to retain the migrant labourers that are so valuable to the economy. The NCPO hopes that the centres will encourage the hundreds of thousands of migrant workers in Thailand to stay on in the country, continuing to work and living without fears for their wellbeing.