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Myanmar urges expedited processing of its migrant workers in Thailand

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BANGKOK: Myanmar has urged Thailand to speed up registration of its citizens working in the Kingdom, with nearly one million workers and hundreds of thousands of their children still undocumented as the deadline draws near.

Myint Thein, Myanmar’s deputy labor minister, was in Thailand last week to monitor progress of the government’s scheme to register millions of migrant workers.

Thailand, together with the Myanmar authorities, is in the process of collecting documents to verify the workers’ nationality.

The original nationality-verification deadline for migrant workers expired last year, but the Cabinet extended the date, allowing them to submit documentation by March 16.

Thailand set up one-stop service centers in major cities throughout the country to facilitate the process. Myanmar has dispatched officials to 11 of the centers, Myint Thein told a press conference.

Some 1.2 million migrant workers from Myanmar have been registered so far. Myint Thein estimated that 1 million more have no documents.

The nationality-verification centers have the capacity to provide service to 500 to 1,000 migrant workers per day.

Myanmar wants Thai authorities to issue special entry visas for children who accompany or depend on parents working in Thailand. Officials say issuing such a visa for children could take weeks.

“We would like children who are dependent on parents working in Thailand to have documentation so that authorities can provide protection and social welfare for them,” Myint Thein said.

It is estimated that migrant workers in Thailand are accompanied by some 200,000 children, he said, noting that half of them are of school age.

“We want them to be able to continue their education. If they have documents, they will have a chance to be educated,” he said.

The Myanmar minister said the expense of obtaining documentation in Thailand was too high for Myanmar migrant workers. Many of them have to pay as much as 15,000 baht, according to Myanmar Ambassador to Thailand, Tin Win.

Migrant workers have to pay 1,800 or 3,600 baht for a one-year or two-year work permit, respectively, according to the Department of Employment.

Thailand has opened one-stop service centers for registering migrant workers, collecting documents and contacting Myanmar authorities to verify nationality and obtain necessary documents, he said.

“This process is not expensive for the workers and many of them have to pay private brokers,” he said. “We don’t know how private brokers intervene in the process and take such a large amount of money from the workers,” Tin Win said.

The ambassador urged the Thai authorities to monitor the process and find a solution to reduce workers’ expenses.

— The Nation

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO

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Governments & old media versus social media – who will win? | VIDEO | The Thaiger

We look at the recent changes made by the Australian and Indian governments to except control over the world’s biggest social media platforms. India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social. There is now an open battle between the rise of social media platforms and the governments and ‘old’ media that have been able to maintain a certain level of control over the ‘message’ for the last century. Who will win?

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told. The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO

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The social media giants in battle with ‘old’ media and world governments | VIDEO | The Thaiger

“The rules signal greater willingness by countries around the world to rein in big tech firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter that the governments fear have become too powerful with little accountability.”

India has issued strict new rules for Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms just weeks after the Indian government attempted to pressure Twitter to take down social media accounts it deemed, well, anti social.

The rules require any social media company to create three roles within India… a “compliance officer” who ensures they follow local laws; a “grievance officer” who addresses complaints from Indian social media users; and a “contact person” who can actually be contacted by lawyers and other aggrieved Indian parties… 24/7.

The companies are also being made to publish a compliance report each month with details about how many complaints they’ve received and the action they took.

They’ll also be required to remove ‘some’ types of content including “full or partial nudity,” any “sexual act” or “impersonations including morphed images”

The democratisation of the news model, with social media as its catalyst, will continue to baffle traditional media and governments who used to enjoy a level of control over what stories get told.

The battles of Google and Facebook, with the governments of India and Australia will be followed in plenty of other countries as well.

At the root of all discussions will be the difference between what governments THINK social media is all about and the reality about how quickly the media landscape has changed. You’ll get to read about it first, on a social media platform… probably on the screen you’re watching this news story right now.

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Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO

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Turbulence ahead for Thailand’s aviation industry | VIDEO | The Thaiger

When the airlines, in particular, were asking the government to put their hands in their pockets for some relief funding in August last year, it was genuinely thought that international tourists would be coming back for the high season in December and January. At the very least local tourists and expats would head back to the skies over the traditional holiday break. And surely the Chinese would be back for Chinese New Year?

As we know now, none of that happened. A resurge in cases started just south of Bangkok on December 20 last year, just before Christmas, kicking off another round of restrictions, pretty much killing off any possibility of a high season ‘bump’ for the tourist industry. Airlines slashed flights from their schedule, and hotels, which had dusted off their reception desks for the surge of tourists, shut their doors again.

Domestically, the hotel business saw 6 million room nights in the government’s latest stimulus campaign fully redeemed. But the air ticket quota of 2 million seats still has over 1.3 million seats unused. Local tourists mostly skipped flights and opted for destinations within driving distance of their homes.

As for international tourism… well that still seems months or years away, even now.

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