Thai government urged to offer amnesty to illegal migrants and their employers


The Thai government is being urged to grant amnesty to undocumented migrant workers in the Kingdom and to extend the reprieve to their employers. The call has been picked up by a number of Thai media outlets, as well as Thai citizens concerned about the latest Covid-19 outbreak.

Those calling for the amnesty say it would stop workers fleeing quarantine detention because they fear arrest and would prevent bosses abandoning illegal workers by the side of the road. At least one employer in the Covid hotspot of Samut Sakhon is believed to have dumped 24 workers by the roadside. It’s understood some bosses fear being arrested for using illegal workers, while others are panicked by the threat of Covid-19. To date, most of the cases in the latest outbreak have been detected in migrant workers.

It’s hoped an amnesty would grant workers the time to gain legal status and a work permit, without fear of prosecution, while helping bosses to register their staff through the correct legal channels. The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration is expected to discuss the proposal when it meets today, although it’s thought any amnesty would require approval by the Thai Cabinet.

Meanwhile, the CCSA has addressed a backlash against migrant workers from some panicked quarters, pointing out the vital contribution they make to Thai industry. CCSA spokesman Taweesin Visanuyothin has called on Thais to view the workers as their “brothers and sisters”.

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Migrant workers are also being offered free Covid-19 tests, as the government hopes to persuade as many as possible to get tested for the virus.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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