Connect with us

Phuket

Call for action over illegal Burmese workers in Phuket

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The Phuket Chamber of Commerce (PCC) is demanding that action be taken to deal with the the large and growing population of Burmese in Phuket.

Dr Sirichai Silapa-archa, chairman of the PCC and also a deputy director at Vachira Phuket Hospital, told the Gazette that the number of newborns at Vachira alone ranges from about 60 to 100 a month.

The other two government hospitals, in Thalang and Patong, report about 15 to 20 new Burmese babies each month, he said.

“All together, that works out to about 100 a month, or 1,200 a year,” he said.

A recent senate panel meeting held in Phuket was told the population of Burmese in Phuket could be as high as 200,000, a considerable chunk of the estimated 1.2 million in Thailand.

Although collectively referred to as Burmese by Thai authorities, many if not most of the people in question are not ethnic Burmese at all, but rather people who hail from lands under the control of the Burmese junta. Many are ethnic Mon.

As the newborn babies of these people fail to qualify for Thai or Burmese citizenship, they represent a large and growing future generation of stateless people who have never known a home other than Phuket. Such a situation could create social problems in the future, Dr Sirichai said.

The PCC has met with the Phuket Labor Office, the Employment Office and other agencies and groups to consult and try to formulate a policy. The PCC is proposing four measures to the Labor Ministry to deal with the issue, Dr Sirichai said.

He outlined the four measures as follows:

First, a relevant agency must identify all workers under the age of 15 years.

“We’re also asking for cooperation from the organizations involved to not permit pregnant women to work, even if they hold work permits,” he said.

Second, workers must not be allowed to bring other people along with them when they enter the country.

Third, workers must operate strictly under the law.

Fourth, there must be a renewed push to register all migrant workers.

Dr Sirichai said that more and more Burmese workers were coming to Phuket to work, using the resources of the island without paying taxes.

Thai law is also too lax on the issue of migrant workers bringing dependents with them, he added.

There was no clear policy on what to do with the Burmese children who were being born here, particularly the issue of giving them Thai nationality, he said.

Dr Sirichai said it was currently unclear whether the government would give them Thai nationality or push them out of the country.

These children are growing up without knowing what their nationality will be, he added.

Currently, 7,209 businesses in Phuket have registered as needing migrant laborers. Those companies have said they want to employ a total of 101,985 workers.

However, only 64,184 workers have been allowed to register by the Labor Office. Of these, just 27,300 have applied to have their nationality verified as part of the Thai government’s nationality verification scheme.

The national census now underway will for the first time try to get an estimate of how many foreigners actually call Phuket home. The census takers, students from Phuket Rajabhat University, have Burmese translators with them when they enter Burmese workers’ camps.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand26 mins ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand33 mins ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Thailand46 mins ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Sponsored9 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Technology1 hour ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand2 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Drugs2 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World3 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand4 hours ago

American told to stop riding go-kart in Chiang Mai

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand legalises abortion up to 20 weeks

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Nasal spray to prevent Covid hits stores October 1

Crime5 hours ago

China backs Philippines online gambling crackdown

Crime5 hours ago

Foreign gang allegedly extorts Russian couple of crypto worth US$50k in Thailand

Events7 hours ago

Meatfest will host meat cooking and eating contests in Pattaya

Thailand7 hours ago

Shopee Thailand to lay off about 10% of employees

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending