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High number of Thai migrant worker deaths in South Korea

Caitlin Ashworth

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High number of Thai migrant worker deaths in South Korea | The Thaiger
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Hundreds of Thais in South Korea have died in the past 5 years, many from “unknown causes,” according to data reported by the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The majority of recorded deaths are migrants, who are less likely to report abuse or have access to healthcare.

The report from Reuters prompted the United Nations to look into the cases as well as the safety of Thai migrants in South Korea. A specialist on labour migration at the UN International Labour Organisation, Nilim Baruah, says the reported data is “concerning and requires attention and investigation.”

“Undocumented migrant workers are the least protected and their health and safety are a concern.”

At least 522 Thais have died in South Korea since 2015, according to data obtained by Reuters from the Thai embassy in Seoul through a freedom of information request. 84% of the deaths are undocumented Thai migrants.

Reuters says 40% of the recorded deaths are due to “unknown causes.” The other 60% were reported as health-related incidents, accidents and suicides.

The undocumented migrants in South Korea are often overworked, unable to access healthcare and unlikely to report exploitation due to fears of deportation, according to current and former migrant workers, campaigners and Thai officials. Reporters found that migrants often work in dirty and sometimes dangerous working conditions for little pay.

Click HERE to read the full report from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Avatar

    jerry

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    Shame on both the Korean government to allow this to happen, and the Thai authorities failure to protect their citizens working abroad. You are both disgraceful. Asians need to put human life before MONEY ….greed and crimes against humanity go hand in hand. The weak and poor are abused in horrendous ways. RISE UP AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THE TRUTH.

    • Avatar

      Niko

      Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:55 pm

      Skorea has one of the highest suicide rates due to overwork so it doesn´t suprise that it is even worse for others that are not citizens.

      I know that the Philippines has a pretty effective system to protect their workers abroad, i readed about this a few years ago because Indonesia had a similar problem and they wanted to either to be protected the workers or have them repatiated.

      I´m surprised that others including Thailand aparently, didn´t take notice of this situation.

      • Avatar

        Philippe Beeckmans-Cop

        Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 4:33 am

        wake-up my friend
        Have been many times in the Philippines .. always smiling people … till I saw them awaiting for their flight in Manila … destination: Middle-East
        No one was smiling, I had the impression they were going to jail … and most probably …

    • Avatar

      Fong

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 1:31 am

      Shame? LoL, they don’t even treat their own people well. Do you really think they will even bat an eye when mistreating others. Korea, Japan and China are horrendous on their poor and elderly. What you see in movies or TV isn’t their true nature. Asians in particular are one of the cruelest cultures still around.

  2. Avatar

    Niko

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 9:56 pm

    Skorea has one of the highest suicide rates due to overwork so it doesn´t suprise that it is even worse for others that are not citizens.

    I know that the Philippines has a pretty effective system to protect their workers abroad, i readed about this a few years ago because Indonesia had a similar problem and they wanted to either to be protected the workers or have them repatiated.

    I´m surprised that others including Thailand aparently, didn´t take notice of this situation.

  3. Avatar

    brian mc

    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    seeing they are picking cabbages or lettuces, I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • Avatar

      James Pate

      Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 4:45 am

      ??? Now you’re just planting seeds of mistrust. Prepare to reap what you sow.

      • Avatar

        brian mc

        Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:34 am

        it would certainly be a turnip for the books.

        i wonder who leek’d this information, probably a swede. hay, what do i know about crops?… barley anything, but i hops yas all dont mind. ill just wheat for your responses

  4. Avatar

    Ameila Leary

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    Shame on the Korean government for allowing it to happen, and also on the Thai authorities. Also S.korea is acting same like his friend China, who did atrocities on the outsiders in their country. But this is not shocking as Thai doesn’t care about the people inside the country, so why the people outside the country are also upset. The Thai administration just behaves as its master gives the orders, and the Thai King has little interest in the citizens of Thai Territory, he only wants to enjoy the powers.

  5. Avatar

    Jesus Monroe

    Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Most of us here are sooooo lucky not to put up with this shit……..Poor bastards just trying to create a half decent life for themselves and familiy……RIP

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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event

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Thai DJ Celebrity party is likely to be “super spreader” event | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Thairath Online

The birthday party of Techin Ploypetch, better known as “DJ Matoom”, is now considered a super-spreader source of Covid-19, with 19 people already found infected after attending the event. According the CCSA spokesperson during the daily briefing today, “Transmissions in Bangkok should be highlighted. They show the possibility of a person becoming a super-spreader”.

The birth of the super spreader birthday party started with a guest to the DJ’s party who had visited a well-known entertainment venue in Chiang Mai between January 1 and 4. He sought a Covid-19 test on January 5 following news that infected people had visited the pub, but tested negative. He should have self quarantined for 14 days, but he still flew to Bangkok and then attended the DJ celebrity’s birthday party on January 9.

DJ Matoom says he met the guest, one of his friend, on January 9, but that friend didn’t know he was infected until January 19 in which he told Matoom.

According to Dr Tanarak Plipat, now acting inspector-general of the Public Health Ministry, an infected person can transmit disease to two others on average, while a “super spreader” will transmit to multiple people.

DJ Matoom and the party’s guest were criticised of violating the disease control measures.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Thailand

Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis

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Thailand’s tourism targets film production to gain revenue during Covid-19 crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Herrera & Partners

Thailand’s tourism officials have a new idea to draw in visitors: film production. The Tourism and Sports Ministry is aiming to generate around 3 billion baht from foreign film crews and is targeting projects with an investment over 100 million baht, hoping to compensate for the loss of revenue due to the lack of international tourists during the coronavirus pandemic.

Foreign tourism revenue drastically dropped nearly 83% in 2020, going from nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 to only 6.7 million tourists in 2020.

The tourism department’s director-general Anant Wongbenjarat says that Thailand welcomed 176 international film productions to the country last year, generating 1.73 billion baht for the local economy. But this is a sharp decrease compared to the previous year where the 740 foreign film crews generated 4.86 billion baht.

In August, the CCSA decided to grant special entry permission to film productions. 53 film production projects were based in Thailand during August and December, contributing 1.14 billion baht to the economy. Those entering Thailand must still undergo a 14 day quarantine.

“International productions can proceed and generate income for locals despite the tourism slowdown.”

Anant also says there are 4 more film production projects underway, and it is forecasted to generate 186 million baht, bringing the total to 57 projects. In the first half of this year, there will be nine more productions expected to come in and help create at least 800 jobs for locals.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26

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Thailand News Today | Thailand’s vaccination roll-out | January 26 | The Thaiger

Bangkok restaurants may soon be allowed to stay open a little later. Health officials are considering easing up Covid-19 prevention measures by extending restaurant dine-in closing times to 11pm. If the proposal gets the green light, it may lead to the lifting of the alcohol ban.

After the order of shutting entertainment venues and banning alcohol sales in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, and Chonburi, the revenues in the alcohol beverage business plummeted. Under disease control measures, restaurants in Bangkok were ordered to stop dine-in services at 9pm and all alcohol sales banned at restaurants to limit gatherings.

According to the president of the Thai Alcohol Business Association, the current ban on alcohol is estimated to cost about 90 billion baht in revenue for businesses.

The Thai Chamber of Commerce says the Cabinet might review the proposal on closing hours tomorrow and act immediately to provide relief to restaurant operators as well as those in the alcohol beverage business.

At least 19 Covid-19 cases have been tracked back to 2 parties – a 5-day New Years celebration in Chiang Mai and a birthday party in Bangkok for a famous TV and radio host Techin Ployphet, aka DJ Matoom, on January 9.

A senior police officer in Bangkok is the latest case possibly linked to the Bangkok “party cluster.” The officer tested positive for Covid-19 after coming in contact with someone who attended the celebrity’s birthday at the Vertigo restaurant and bar on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel.

After the party, the actor, as well as other attendees, later tested positive for Covid-19. DJ Matoom also attended a New Year’s celebration in Chiang Mai from January 1 to 5, which is also linked to a number of cases.

In the ongoing investigation into the k-based drug cocktail linked to 11 deaths in Bangkok, police have arrested a man who allegedly mixed large amounts of narcotics to make the drug cocktail known as “K powdered milk.” Police say the cocktail includes ketamine mixed with methamphetamine, heroin and over-the-counter pills for anxiety and sleeping.

A 38 year old Taiwan national was arrested yesterday after police raided his condominium in Bangkok’s Ratchathewi district. Chou allegedly admitted to mixing the drugs to make “K powdered milk” and police say the formulas for the drug mixture were found on his mobile phone.

Earlier this month, 11 people died after taking the drug cocktail and dozens of people are still in hospital after consuming the illegal concoction. Police have arrested numerous suspected drug dealers who ran small scale and large scale operations.

The government plans to begin Thailand’s 3-phase vaccination plan on February 14, starting with healthcare and frontline workers as well as vulnerable groups.

The Public Health Minister says the first phase of inoculations starting next month will target 19 million Thai people in 4 priority groups…

– health workers in both public and private sectors.

– 6 million people with underlying conditions.

– 11 million people aged over 60.

– Covid-19 task force who are in close contact with infected patients.

The vaccine’s availability remains limited at this stage and only target groups who are at high risk of infection will be vaccinated during the first phase of the vaccination plan. Importantly, the vaccines will be free and are not compulsory.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, was approved by the Thai government for emergency last week. The first batch of 50,000 doses are expected to arrive next month. Thailand also expects 200,000 doses of China’s Sinovac Biotech vaccine to arrive next month.

In a landmark decision, the Thai Senate has approved amendments to Thailand’s abortion laws allowing women to terminate their pregnancy during the first trimester and also lessening the punishment for women who have an abortion after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The amendments will go into effect on February 12.

Abortion – during any stage of pregnancy – has been illegal under Thailand’s Criminal Code, with the exception that the pregnancy poses a health risk for the mother or if the woman was raped.

Yesterday, the Senate approved to amend the Criminal Code to allow abortions performed by a qualified doctor during the first trimester, which is the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Women would not need to give a reason for the abortion.

The Senate also approved to lessen the punishment for women who terminated their pregnancy illegally.

Breaking Thailand’s record for highest daily spike in coronavirus cases, 959 new Covid-19 cases were reported today at the daily briefing.

The majority of new cases were found in proactive tracking and tracing in Samut Sakhon, which has been increased to test 60,000 people in the province this week. With more diligent testing in the Covid-19 hotspot, health officials expected a spike in reported cases. 848 of the 959 new cases were detected by proactive testing, most in Samut Sakhon and only 4 in Bangkok.

22 of the new cases reported today were detected in quarantine for those arriving to Thailand from abroad.

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