Thai Authorities Investigate Undocumented Workers in Chiang Mai


Thai authorities are reportedly planning to move a ‘job-seeking area’ near Khamtieng market to another location.

Photo by CM News

Thai authorities in the northern province of Chiang Mai have begun a recent investigation into the legal status of migrant workers near the Khamtieng Market in the city, local social workers say.

The move involves a joint task force of police, immigration officers and health workers.

“It’s just a normal investigation—not an intensive operation. Some people are not legal migrant workers,” Sai Perng, who is working for the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), told SHAN.

According to Sai Perng, Thai authorities conducted the investigation around Khamtieng Market in Chiang Mai at the end of January, because undocumented workers from Burma often gather in the area to pick up daily labor.

Thai authorities are reportedly planning to move the “job-seeking area” to another location, because of the market’s status as a tourist attraction.

“Burmese migrants must have labor cards and other official documents. If migrant workers don’t have complete documents, Thai authorities will take action against migrant labors according to existing laws,” Sai Perng said.

These laws state that if an individual is caught working without sufficient documents, they can be fined anywhere from 5,000 to 50,000 baht (US$160-$1,600). The employer who employs undocumented workers can be fined double this.

Additionally, migrant workers’ employers must be listed on their registration papers. If they seek other work, they must report it to the Thai authorities or face deportation.

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