A Lao official says his government has received requests from Thai companies for more than 50,000 registered workers from Laos for 2006, but his government has been able to provide only about 2,000 so far, due to shortage of registered skilled laborers.
Thai officials estimate that there are about 400,000 Laotian workers in Thailand, of which only about 90,000 have properly registered with Thai authorities. The rest are illegal workers and victims of human trafficking, who are forced to work in sweatshops or in prostitution.
Meanwhile, our Bangkok stringer reports that more and more Lao women have been lured into marrying Thai men who sell their brides to brothels after taking them to Thailand.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.