Myanmar PassportBurma Passport
At the moment there are 2.5 to 3 million Myanmar laborers in Thailand. From June 2009, these immigrants had to participate in a nationwide labour force assessment procedure (NV) which involved Thai/Myanmar authorities, in line with a 2003 agreement on cooperation in the employment of people. After the NV was concluded, the employees were regularized by issuing a 6-year Myanmar passport, a two-year Thai passport and a Thai work-pass.
In Myanmar, the 4-year period for work in Thailand, introduced by the 2003 MoU in June 2013, has proven to be inconvenient for Myanmar employees and their employer. In September 2013, civil servants from both sides of the border reached an agreement to find a way to allow these employees to stay in Thailand for more than four years.
As a result, this residence permit renewal arrangement was not transposed in a clear and prompt manner and the related procedures for employees who are staying in Thailand for more than four years are still alarming. The Myanmar authorities have also now introduced a visa ban card scheme aimed at converting NV passes into non-pass permits for all Myanmar operatives in Thailand.
It is a very worrying choice for employees because it is reported that they need a personal identity document and register their families. A lot of blue-collar worker, especially from rural areas, never had such documentation. Furthermore, many workmen have different reputations on temp passes and formal documentation. Employees with transient passes already have their own cars, their own account and their own personal income tax.
Over 1.7 million Myanmar operatives have already gone through an costly and time-consuming NV-trial. Unexpectedly, these employees now have to go through another passport validation procedure if they are to be able to use their current passport as a means of identification. Myanmar's choice to force immigrants in Thailand to possess temporary passes has not been examined with caution.
At present, the procedure for employees to stay in Thailand for more than four years and for issuing, renewing or renewing provisional or durable passes is still not known. This political void and the ambiguity of the procedure mean that the employer and the employee have to depend on costly and non-regulated Thai and Myanmar employment agencies or realtors to obtain information and manage complicated processes, as was noted in the previous and opaque NV trial.
Seven million Myanmar operatives were deceived by agencies, estate agencies, employer and civil servants about the 1,050 Brt formal cost of the prior NV trial and documentation, as they had to spend 5 to 10x as much to close the NV. They are now really frightened and angered that they are confronted with the same exploitation after their permit to stay in Thailand for more than 4 years has elapsed.
The political turmoil and the absence of openness already means that more than 100,000 Myanmar operatives in Thailand are illegal because their 4-year residence permit has been forfeited. They cannot renew their visa and are charged a 500 BTB per day, while the risks and realities of blackmail and blackmail are growing.
Employees are laid off by their employer and deceived by agencies and companies that offer counterfeit or costly work. Even more worrying is that in some counties such operatives are becoming more and more imprisoned and blackmailed by prosecution authorities or compelled to buy illegal security maps. During this period of conflict in Thailand's immigration policies, the Ministry of Labour has now also declared that from 1 March 2014 it will enact a bill demanding the confiscation of 1,000 bahts of migrants' wages in order to compensate for illegal overruns and deportations to a expulsion funds.
It is an act of harassment because only Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia nationals are obliged to foot the bill while other nations do not. Myanmar's Worker Rights Network (MWRN), founded in 2009 by Myanmar migrants in Thailand, is urging the Myanmar authorities to support us.
We also call on the Thai and Myanmar authorities to examine the following recommendations as a matter of urgency in order to safeguard the welfare of all migratory migrants in Thailand: