Saturday, August 20, 2005

Thailand-Cambodia sign MOU on labour cooperation

BANGKOK, Aug 19 (TNA) -- The Thai and Cambodian governments today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which Cambodian immigrants in this country will be legally employed.

Thai Labour Minister Somsak Thepsuthin and his Cambodian counterpart Nhep Bunchin signed the MOU, which aims to promote legal employment and provide
protection for the Cambodian workers.

An estimated 180,000 Cambodian workers were believed to be illegally employed in Thailand.

Of that total, only 74 obtained legal documents last year.

For that reason, Mr Somsak said the 1979 Royal Decree on Alien Occupation has been revised to facilitate the employment of the Cambodian migrant workers.

Apart from that a ministerial regulation on immigrant employment will also be revised so the visa fee for foreign workers will be reduced from 2,000 baht to 500 baht each.

The Cambodian labour minister said Phnom Penh had adopted the policy to support legal employment of Cambodians, most of whom had intended to stay on a
permanent basis in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Employment Department director general Chuthatawat Indrasuksri said the Thai-Cambodian MOU on working Cambodian immigrants followed a similar
agreement dealing with Lao immigrants.

An agreement for Myanmar immigrants is yet to be effected.

Nonetheless, the legal foreign workers will only be hired for jobs which Thai nationals may refuse to do, Mr. Chuthatawat said.

Effective at the end of August, employers will be subject to legal penalties should they be found hiring or harbouring illegal aliens.

The penalties for such employers will be more severe than those for their employees.

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