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Exodus of Myanmar migrant workers continues

Bangkok Post, Thailand, 2 July 2017 - As of Sunday morning, 21,828 Myanmar migrant workers have returned home via Mae Sot after an executive decree imposing harsh punishments against recruitment of undocumented alien labourers was issued on June 23, according to a report from the immigration checkpoint to the district administration.

The number was compiled by police at the Mae Sot immigration checkpoint from June 23 to July 2.

On Sunday, Myanmar migrant workers continued to return home.

After the decree went into effect, Thanayos Pankhao, the Mae Sot district chief, assigned tambon and village chiefs, defence volunteers and public health officials to help facilitate the return of the Myanmar workers.

On the other side of the Friendship Bridge across the Moei River, Myanmar officials are on standby to welcome home their fellow countrymen.

Sutha Saiwanich, deputy governor of Tak, made an inspection trip to ensure a smooth exodus.

The executive decree aims to raise recruitment and management standards and reduce accusations by the international community of abuse and human trafficking.  It contains harsher punishments on violators, with prison terms and fines ranging from 400,000 to 800,000 baht.

Although Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said Section 44 of the previous interim constitution, which has been carried over to the current constitution, would be invoked to delay the enforcement of the decree for 120 days, employers have laid off undocumented workers, leading to the exodus.


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