Thai officials say to “look out for” illegal migrant workers amidst Covid-19 surge

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This morning, a government spokesman said people in border provinces have been told to “look out for” illegal migrant workers as governors prepare for an increase in Covid-19 infections. He also said people should report “suspicious looking strangers” to authorities. He said police and labour officials have been told to check and make sure factories aren’t hiring illegal migrants, and to crack down hard on trafficking gangs smuggling in workers from surrounding countries.

The spokesman, Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana, cited data from the Covid-19 Information Centre. He said 18,066 new infections have been reported across Thailand in the past 24 hours. He said out of these infections, 17,898 are locally acquired, and 168 are from people arriving from abroad. Since January 1, there has been a total of 451,042 Covid-19 infections, and 27 deaths.

The Thai government did a similar crackdown in April last year when it created six teams in charge of finding and punishing employers who hired migrant workers without the correct paperwork. The deputy permanent secretary for labour said that in the 2021 budget year, 647 employers were prosecuted for this. 541 migrant workers were also prosecuted.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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