(Information Source: Bangkok Post, by Penchan Charoensuthipan, on Thu May 16, 2019 07:00 am)
The National Fisheries Association of Thailand calls for a clearer policy regarding the renewal of work permits for Myanmar, Cambodian and Lao migrant workers.
The National Fisheries Association of Thailand is calling for a clearer policy regarding the renewal of work permits for Myanmar, Cambodian and Lao migrant workers whose work permits are due to expire between this year and next year.
About 20,000 of these workers will have to renew their work permits before they expire on November 1; another 10,900 will have to do the same before their permits expire on March 31 next year, and the other 6,600 will do the same before their permits expire on Sept 30 next year, said Sarawut Thowasakun, vice-president of the association.
If these workers fail to have their work permits renewed in time, the fishing trawlers they are working for won't be able to go out to sea as this is prohibited under the government's fishing trawler monitoring port in-port out (PIPO) system, he said.
The system is being introduced to tackle illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.
While the fate of the first two groups remains uncertain as to how and when the work permit renewal process will be carried out, only the third group is likely to automatically receive a one-year renewal, he said.
"What is worrying us is that the work permit renewal for the first and second groups will affect nearly 31,000 workers. If their work permits expire without renewal, they will all have to go back to their home countries," he said.
"A large number of fishing boats will be seriously affected," he said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Employment and Myanmar's Ministry of Labour met in Phuket recently to discuss Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand.
Possible measures for dealing with Myanmar workers whose permits are scheduled to expire on March 31 next year were also discussed at the meeting in detail.
At the end of the discussion, both sides agreed to cooperate in an effort to better regulate and protect Myanmar migrant workers.