News / Asia

    Cambodian, Burmese Workers Face New Challenges in Thailand

    Burmese migrants, illegal workers use boat to cross Moei River bordering town of Myawaddy, Burma, visible in the background, to Mae Sot, Thailand, March 21, 2012.
    Burmese migrants, illegal workers use boat to cross Moei River bordering town of Myawaddy, Burma, visible in the background, to Mae Sot, Thailand, March 21, 2012.
    Kimseng MenAye Aye Mar
    The coup in Thailand is causing problems for hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from neighboring Cambodia and Burma, also known as Myanmar.

    Along the Burmese border, workers say Thai security forces have shut down illegal crossing points, stranding many who cross back and forth for work in Thailand.

    Without the ability to go home, those without proper work permits now have to stay on the Thai side longer than before and face the possibility of arrest.

    Tuesday in Mae Sot, about 200 migrants were arrested by the Thai immigration and the police.

    One migrant worker, who did not want to be named, told VOA's Burmese service that everyone who was taken away was in Thailand illegally.

    Police came in early in the morning and arrested all people, including the children. They also came with soldiers and immigration officials. There were about 20 to 30 vehicles, including the police. About 200 adults and children were arrested. They all are undocumented people.”

    Meanwhile, the Labor Attaché at the Burmese Embassy in Thailand, Thein Naing, told VOA the visa extension process has resumed for legal Burmese migrants.

    "We started issuing [passports] at the border. We have also opened a branch in Bangkok. If there are complete documents, the Embassy in Bangkok will work to issue [the passports]."

    Things are also difficult for Cambodian workers. Ya Navuth, executive director of Caram Cambodia, said undocumented workers in Thailand may not know about the closed borders and could be arrested when they try to cross back.

    “Especially undocumented workers who have no knowledge of the issue,” he said. “When they travel at night, they could face arrest.”

    Ya Navuth appealed to Cambodians considering traveling to Thailand for work to delay their plans. He urged the Cambodian Embassy in Thailand to continue to get information to the provinces, where Cambodian laborers work.

    Cambodian Embassy in Thailand Councilor General Ros Serey recommends Cambodians in Thailand avoid traveling.

    “There is no guideline from the ministry of foreign affairs, but whoever calls me or meets other diplomats, we normally advise them to remain calm, stay at one place, and refrain from committing anything against their laws to avoid problem.”
     
    Migrant worker Oeun Samorn confirmed there are potential problems.

    “I had some difficulties and have been very careful when traveling,” he said.

    An estimated 400,000 Cambodians work in Thailand, while more than a million Burmese are believed to be working in the country.
     
    Thailand’s military tightened the borders when it took control of the country last month.

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer and Burmese services. Men Kimseng reported from Washington.

    You May Like

    California Republicans Mull Choices in Presidential Race

    Ted Cruz tells state's Republican Convention delegates campaign will be 'battle on the ground, district by district by district,' ahead of June 7 primary

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, many Kurds are trying to escape turmoil by focusing on success of football team Amedspor

    South African Company Designs Unique Solar Cooker

    Two-man team of solar power technologists introduces Sol4, hot plate that heats up so fast it’s like cooking with gas or electricity

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora