New measures to protect migrant workers

A package of measures aimed at improving recruitment practices and the protection of migrant workers’ rights has been launched by the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Employment (DOE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). On 25 May 2011, Ms Sutassanee Suebwongpat, Director General of the Department of Employment and Mr Jiyuan Wang, Director of the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR will sign a Letter of Understanding to promote cooperation between the two parties from 2011 to 2012.

Press release | Bangkok, Thailand | 25 May 2011

BANGKOK (ILO News) - A package of measures aimed at improving recruitment practices and the protection of migrant workers’ rights has been launched by the Ministry of Labour’s Department of Employment (DOE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). On 25 May 2011, Ms Sutassanee Suebwongpat, Director General of the Department of Employment and Mr Jiyuan Wang, Director of the ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR will sign a Letter of Understanding to promote cooperation between the two parties from 2011 to 2012.

Migration, if properly managed, is a mutually beneficial process - for labour migrants, their families, countries of origin and destination. Each year approximately 150,000 Thai women and men go through regular channels to work aboard, while more than two million migrants from neighbouring countries currently work in Thailand. Despite the potential benefits of working aboard, migrants face a number of risks and are vulnerable to exploitation. Preventing and better protecting migrants from exploitative and abusive conditions is a priority for the Ministry of Labour and the ILO.

In 2010 the Ministry of Labour (MOL) stepped up efforts to better protect migrant workers. The Department of Employment (DOE), the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, and relevant agencies acknowledged the need to regulate recruitment practices and reduce recruitment costs to better protect migrant workers. This led to the announcement of the 3 August Declaration for Work with Dignity. Its primary aims were to reduce recruitment costs, suppress unlicensed recruitment actors, and protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers. 87 recruitment agencies signed up to the Declaration with the Department of Employment to support these efforts.

The DOE and ILO will initiate closer cooperation both at policy and operation levels. This cooperation includes research and studies, strengthening the capacity of government officials through training and exchanging international good practices. One of the first activities under this initiative will be the provision of accurate information on the new registration period for irregular migrant workers that begins on 15 June. This window will allow a large number of migrants to obtain regular status, which is essential to ensuring better protection of their rights. The DOE and ILO will jointly organize a forum to provide clarification and field questions from employers’ organizations, trade unions, NGOs and migrant associations. These partners will then use their networks to disseminate this information more broadly and maximize the number of migrants that register.

The activities under this cooperation will be co-funded by the Department of Employment (DOE) and two International Labour Organization technical cooperation projects: Tripartite Action to Protect Migrant Workers from Labour Exploitation (TRIANGLE), funded by the Australian Government Aid Program, and Going Back – Moving On: Economic and Social Empowerment of Migrants including Victims of Trafficking Returned from the EU and Neighbouring Countries, funded by the European Union.

For further information please contact:


The Department of Employment (DOE)
Ministry of Labour (MOL)
Mitmitree Road, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10400
Tel: 1694

International Labour Organization (ILO):
Kuanruthai Sirirpatthanakosol
Project Coordinator
Tel: 02 288 1354
Email

Kusumal Rachawong
Project Coordinator
Tel: 02 288 2233
Email

Krisdaporn Singhaseni
Information Officer
Tel. 02 288 1664
Email