World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Thailand: Exploitation Of Migrant Workers Exposed

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

Thailand: Abuses and exploitation of migrant workers exposed

8 June 2005 AI Index: ASA 39/002/2005

Burmese migrant workers in Thailand are routinely paid well below the Thai minimum wage, work long hours in unhealthy conditions and are at risk of arbitrary arrest and deportation, said Amnesty International today in a new report.

The report exposes a lack of basic labour rights and highlights the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers by smugglers, Thai employers and police. This includes frequent shakedowns by police in order to extract bribes.

A new registration process taking place from 1 – 30 June 2005 for migrant workers from Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia, permitting them to remain in Thailand until June 2006, is an opportunity for the Thai government to ensure strong protection for migrant workers.

"The Royal Thai Government should ensure that the security forces do not arbitrarily arrest migrant workers, particularly in order to extract bribes," said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Asia.

"It should protect migrant workers from mistreatment, harassment and intimidation by employers, police and local officials, and ensure that they are not returned to countries where they risk torture and ill-treatment."

Amnesty International interviewed 115 Burmese migrants in seven locations in Thailand. The interviewees were working or looking for work in the fishing, manufacturing, agricultural, construction industries, or as day labourers or domestic workers.

One Burmese migrant worker told Amnesty International: "The Thai people regard us as garbage –- they don’t see the Burmese as helping the economy. We take jobs which they won't do. They see us as trouble-makers, never as friends."

Amnesty International called on the Thai government to ensure that all workers in Thailand enjoy basic labour rights, including adequate wages, resaonable working hours, and safe and healthy working conditions.


Hundreds of thousands of Burmese migrant workers are employed in various sectors of Thai industry including fisheries, garment factories, domestic and construction work, hotels and restaurants, and agriculture. As Thailand has become more prosperous, fewer Thai people are willing to work in jobs commonly seen as "dirty, dangerous, and demeaning". Burmese workers have arrived to fill the gap.

For several years the Royal Thai Government has dealt with the labour shortage by establishing a series of registration processes for migrant workers. Although flawed in both policy and implementation terms, these registrations have been a good faith attempt to regularize and establish a legal framework addressing the flow of migrants.

For the full text of the report, Thailand: The Plight of Burmese Migrant Workers, please go to:


You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news