Govt asked to give migrant workers more time to register

national December 17, 2012 00:00

By The Nation

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The Migrant Worker Network yesterday urged the government to extend the application deadline for nationality verification and to improve social security benefits for approved foreign workers.

“A huge number of migrant workers will be deported as they cannot apply for nationality verification,” said Bandit Panwiset, a coordinator of the network. A group from the network and members of other organisations yesterday staged a rally ahead of tomorrow’s International Migrants Day, organised by the UN on December 18 every year.

They submitted a letter to the government demanding that it and state labour agencies speed up the process of resolving migrant worker problems in the country.
The Social Security Act should be amended to extend benefits to migrant workers who have already proved their nationality, and the policy to repatriate workers who could not meet the deadline, which the government has extended twice, should be revised, they said. Labour rights protection should also cover migrants working as domestic helpers and at seafood plants, they said. 
Arak Prommanee, deputy secretary-general of the Social Security Office, said setting up an Asean Social Security Fund would be a key mechanism for assisting migrant workers in winning labour rights and health protections.
The fund must be established by Asean member countries to help each other resolve related issues, Arak said, adding that trafficking in migrant workers is still a major problem for each country. 

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