Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pregnant migrants to be sent back home, Bangkok Post

26 June 2012
Female migrant workers will be deported if they become pregnant while working here under a new Labour Ministry regulation being drafted by the Labour Protection and Welfare Department.

Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said migrant workers three to four months into their pregnancies would be sent back to their home countries but would be allowed to return and work after giving birth, he said.

The new regulation is aimed at tackling human trafficking, for which Thailand has been listed on the United States' "Tier 2" watch list for three consecutive years, the minister said.

The US's Tier 2 watch list is made up of nations where governments do not fully comply with its Trafficking Victims Protection Acts's minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to comply with those standards.

Mr Padermchai said this measure would not violate human rights because many countries have similar regulations.

"Thailand is on the watch list for human trafficking," the minister said. "Therefore, we must have a clear regulation, otherwise we will be unable to get away from the Tier 2 watch list."

Once the regulation is drawn up, the measure would be discussed with other state and private units, as well as with neighbouring countries, to reach joint agreements, he said.

Further explanation of the regulation would affirm that it does not violate human rights, Mr Padermchai said.

Actually, he said, it would help repair Thailand's image as a nation that exploited children and supported human trafficking.

Arthit Isamo, director of the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare, said his agency had a duty to protect workers' welfare. The regulation would help protect young children by preventing them from being sent to work and exploited in factories, he said.

By Bangkok Post
Published on 26 June 2012

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