The Jakarta Post
Over a million Myanmar migrant workers living in Thailand still have not received temporary passports and are being forced to pay extortion money to regional authorities to continue their stay, according to officials of the Education and Development Foundation in Thailand.
"At the moment, 1.5 million migrant workers have not been registered while another 1.5 million workers have been documented. The undocumented workers are paying extortion money to regional authorities while some live under the protection of their bosses. But there are also those who are living normally," said Htoo Chit, a senior advisor of the foundation.
Many Myanmar migrant workers have been working for less than 300 baht (US$9) even though the Thai government has specified 300 baht as national minimum wage.
According to reports, some entrepreneurs have been hindering the documentation process as they do not want to pay the required minimum wage to their workers after they have been registered.
Many Myanmar migrant workers reside in industrialised areas and in Ranong and Chiang Mai. Myanmar's Ministry of Labour announced last February that it has issued temporary passport for over 1.23 million undocumented migrant workers in Thailand.