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Laos, Thailand hail joint efforts to upgrade status of Lao workers

The Thai government has promised continued assistance for all Lao workers in the country, including illegal workers wanting to return home, by allowing them to upgrade their nationality status in Thailand.
Speaking in Vientiane on Monday, the Thai Minister of Labour said Thailand would increase the amount of assistance offered to ensure the legal status of Lao workers who could prove their identity, following requests by the Lao government.

This year, authorities will roll out an information campaign via mobile phones across numerous Thai provinces to notify Lao workers to upgrade their nationality status with two-year pink cards.
The Thai Minister, Police General Adul Sangsingkeo, detailed the additional measures during a meeting on Monday to discuss the employment agreement between the two countries.
The Thai government would continue to upgrade the status of Lao workers currently holding pink cards in Thailand who needed help, he said.
There are about 71,000 Lao workers with pink cards, a temporary identity document, in Thailand.
Efforts to resolve the issue of Lao workers in Thailand were also a step forward in strengthening the longstanding friendship between the peoples of the two nations, he added.
Under the plan, Thai authorities would continue to register foreign workers, issuing them with temporary work permits from March to June this year.
Last year, Laos and Thailand agreed to set up assistance centres in Bangkok and border provinces of Thailand to upgrade the status of Lao workers currently holding pink cards.
Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Dr Khampheng Saysompheng said “We would like to thank the Thai government, including the minister, for responding to the request by the Lao government.”
He said Lao authorities have been helping illegal workers wanting to return home to acquire passports so they can be legally re-employed in Thailand.
The government opened centres last year in the Labour and Social Welfare offices of each province in Laos, aiming to collect statistics and help workers returning from Thailand, he explained.
At present, there are an estimated 46,000 out of 71,000 Lao workers in Thailand who hold pink cards (work permits) who have still not proven their identity.
From August last year until the end of last month 24,680 Lao nationals registered and upgraded their status.  
According to the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, there are about 8 million foreign workers in Thailand, with local workers accounting for about 10 percent of the 1.5 million from Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar.


By Times Reporters
(Latest Update
February 28,

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