PM wants arrested border crossers to join Thai labour force
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said on Friday that illegal migrants caught sneaking across the border should be registered to work legally in Thailand, where a labour shortage is threatening economic recovery.
The PM gave the instruction while chairing a Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration on Friday to consider measures for allowing workers from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos to re-enter Thailand despite the Covid-19 situation.
Prayut questioned why job seekers from the three neighbouring countries were still being arrested daily for trying to sneak into the Kingdom, said CCSA spokesperson Taweesilp Visanuyothin.
The PM said relevant government agencies should coordinate to find ways for these workers to enter the Thai labour force legally. According to the Federation of Thai Industries, Thailand is currently facing a shortage of about 800,000 migrant workers needed for the manufacturing, service and tourism sectors.
The spokesman did not say whether illegal migrants already arrested would be sent back to their countries. Currently, they face a fine and deportation.
The Labour Ministry reported that it has 476 quarantine rooms at 17 locations for job seekers from Myanmar and Cambodia. The workers undergo the same quarantine restrictions as other foreign travellers, the spokesman added.
Cambodian migrants are sent to 291 rooms with capacity for 1,038 workers in Si Sa Ket, Surin, Sa Kaew and Trat provinces.
Myanmar migrants have six quarantine centres in Chiang Rai, Tak, Kanchanaburi, and Ranong with 185 rooms and capacity for 330 workers.
The spokesman did not offer data on quarantine facilities for Laos workers.