The Thai cabinet has agreed to extend working permit to workers from Laos, Cambodia and Burma another year until June 2009. The extension applies to registered workers only. This means that those whose registration is due to expire between now and June can apply for a one-year extention.
It is estimated that more than 800,000 workers from the three nations are now legally working in Thailand. Thai authorities say they have received requests for an additional 600,000 from Thai employers, but foreign workers must be approved by their respective government before they can seek employment in Thailand.
It is also estimated that there are over one million illegal workers in Thailand, with more than 300,000 from Laos. These unregistered workers risk falling victims of transnational labor and human trafficking, with a large number ending up in sweat shops, being abused and tortured by employers, or sold into sex trade.
For more details in Lao, listen to our report.