The inability to develop adequate skilled human resources has forced Laos to depend on foreign labor for most of its sectors. Government statistics show there are currently over 23,000 registered foreign workers in Laos, working for foreign organizations and companies doing business in Laos.
Laos releases over 150,000 unskilled workers into its workforce annually but is able to absorb only a small percentage of that number. So many are forced to go to neighboring Thailand to look for employment, mainly to do menial work for an average wage of 145 Baht per day, working in farms, factories, and restaurants. A large number have been forced to work in sweat shops and even prostitution.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.