Undocumented Cambodians to get legal status in Thailand
26 Jan 2017 at 15:32 WRITER: KHMER TIMES
PHNOM PENH - Undocumented Cambodians who received migrant worker status cards after crossing illegally into Thailand are being advised to contact the embassy in Bangkok, which will help them legalise their position so they can get work.
Many Cambodians now find themselves in a grey area after having been issued with what are known as pink cards by Thai authorities. These give them migrant worker status, but are not enough to allow them to get a legal job, according to the Khmer Times.
The situation arose after the military coup in 2014, when large numbers of foreign workers were expelled.
Many Cambodians crossed back into Thailand illegally. Thai authorities created the pink cards as a way of normalising their presence, however the workers were left in employment limbo.
Cambodian and Thai government officials met to resolve the problem and a Cambodian government committee was set up to legalise the 231,626 undocumented Cambodian workers.
A ministry statement said on Tuesday: “The committee is ready to offer documents to workers following legal procedures required by Thai law.”
Heng Sour, a spokesman for the Ministry of Labour, said the undocumented workers were among one million Cambodians working in Thailand.
He confirmed that the undocumented workers had received migrant worker status cards from Thai authorities after they crossed illegally into Thailand to seek employment.
Cambodia’s Labour Ministry said undocumented workers should apply for travel documents from the embassy in Bangkok.
Workers need to pay 950 baht for the travel documents. These should be taken, along with 500 baht and the pink card, to the Thai Immigration Department to apply for work permits.