วันพุธที่ 13 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2553

รัฐมนตรีแรงงานแถลงรับหลักการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO

เมื่อวันที่ 11 ตุลาคม 2553 คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ได้เข้าพบรัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงแรงงาน เพื่อทวงถามความคืบหน้าในการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ซึ่งรัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงแรงงาน ได้ตบปากรับคำว่าจะลงนามเสนอเรื่องเข้าสู่ที่ประชุมคณะรัฐมนตรีภายในสัปดาห์นี้ และคาดว่าคณะรัฐมนตรีจะพิจารณาในสัปดาห์หน้า
จึงขอแจ้งความคืบหน้าให้พี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงานทราบ และช่วยกันติดตามนะครับว่า การดำเนินงานจะเป็นไปตามคำที่รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงแรงงานกล่าวหรือไม่...??? video

วันเสาร์ที่ 9 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2553

Release on 21 SEP

For Immediate Release: 21st September 2010
Migrant Workers Must Be Protected and the
Thai Government Must Comply with ILO Convention 19

For more detailed information regarding this press release, please contact:
• Sawit Keawan (Secretary General, SERC): +66 863 361110 (Thai only)
• Andy Hall (Advisor to HRDF/Translator for Mr. Sawit Keawan): +601 637 17013 (English/Thai)
• Hsein Htay (HRDF’s Migrant Justice Programme): +66 830 139736 (Burmese/Thai)

The Royal Thai Government (RTG) ratified the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Equality of Treatment [Accident Compensation] Convention 1925 (C-19) on 5th April 1968. C-19 requires each member state of the ILO that ratifies this Convention to grant to nationals of any other member states which have also ratified this Convention and who suffers personal injury due to industrial accidents happening in its territory the same treatment in respect of work accident compensation as it grants to its own nationals. This equality of treatment shall be guaranteed to all migrant workers without any condition as to residence. Myanmar also ratified ILO C-19 in 1927.

Migrant workers from Myanmar (and their dependents) who suffer accidents or are killed at work in Thailand continue to be officially denied access to rights and protection from the Workmen’s
Compensation Fund (WCF) however. Officials justify this denial of fundamental rights to migrants on numerous grounds, all of which reveal discriminatory treatment against these migrant workers when compared with protection provided to Thai workers who can access the WCF. This policy of the RTG to deny migrant access to the WCF clearly breaches Thailand’s obligations as a signatory to ILO C-19.

The State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC), the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC) and the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) have utilized the Nang Noom Mae Seng test case as a central part of our campaign to show most clearly the impact of the RTG’s denial of WCF rights to migrant workers from Myanmar, and in our attempt to pressure the RTG to adhere to C-19. But officials of the RTG continue to ignore this campaign and our demands. SERC, as an affiliate to the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), therefore petioned the Director of the ILO’s International Labour Standards Department on this issue during the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva, Switzerland. The RTG’s adherence to C-19 was duly considered by the ILO’s Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations and the Committee issued a report during the 99th Session of the ILC requesting the RTG to urgently adhere to its obligations as a signatory to C-19.

Over 2 million migrants from Myanmar are one of the most exploited and vulnerable groups in Thai society working in more dangerous, dirty and difficult conditions to other workers from which they frequently incur work accidents and disease. Many of these workers have also fled deep political and economic conflict in their homeland. HRDF alone has documented over 200 Myanmar migrants’ work accidents in the past few years and this is from their work in only two of Thailand’s 77 provinces. Although official statistics are unavailable, it would not be unreasonable to estimate that thousands of migrants from Myanmar incur work accidents each year in Thailand and many more suffer or will in the future suffer work diseases. All are denied access to work accident compensation from the WCF.

The RTG seems to have decided that setting up a separate work accident compensation fund or setting up a private insurance scheme to provide insurance to these migrant work accident victims is the solution to address challenges posed by their failing to access work accident compensation. Such a scheme would be managed by private companies with adjudication on compensation conducted by WCF officials. Neither SERC nor representatives of migrants from Myanmar were consulted on these plans.

SERC considers that plans to set up a separate and privately managed fund or insurance scheme to provide accident, sickness, disability and death compensation benefits to migrant work accident victims from Myanmar (and their dependents) is a worrisome development because it appears that the RTG is abandoning the principle of providing non-discriminatory access to the WCF. There are allegations, which have not yet been confirmed given the opaque and non-participatory nature of the decision making process surrounding these plans, that suggest benefits to be received by migrants under such schemes may be less than those received by Thai work accident victims through the WCF. SERC considers such planned measures are illegal under the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1994, which provides access to the WCF to all “workers” irrespective of nationality.

SERC, TLSC and HRDF request that the RTG urgently act to ensure that the rights of both Thai and migrant workers are protected equally in accordance with Thai labour laws without distinctions and exceptions, especially those based on nationality. This will ensure that the RTG adheres to fundamental principles encapsulated in ILO C-19. Protecting migrants equally alongside Thai workers will also ensure that in the future our Thai nation is not exposed internationally as a nation that immorally benefits from the suffering of migrant workers from Myanmar who flee into our country in search of a better life. For if such a situation was to occur, Thailand would rightly be rejected for acceptance by countries and communities around the world.

State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation of Thailand (SERC)
Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC)
The Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)
21st September 2010
Bangkok, THAILAND

Campaign Fact Sheet

Campaign Fact Sheet: Migrant Workers from Myanmar Denied
Access to Work Accident Compensation


Nang Noom’s Story: The Face Behind the Campaign On 4th December 2006 at 10am whilst collecting scrap metals at the Shangri-la Hotel construction site in Chiangmai Province in Northern Thailand, a metal column fell down from 12 stories and whilst breaking up, struck Nang Noom, a Shan worker from Myanmar, on the right side of her head and her back. As a result of this accident Ms. Noom lost consciousness and experienced the following injuries: shattered and severely damaged spinal cord, broken ribs, ripped lungs, ripped right scapula, damaged nerve system on her right hand, broken right femur, and severely weakened arms and legs. Nang Noom received treatment in hospital from 4th December 2006 until 20th February 2007. She is paralyzed from the waist down and unable to return to work ever again.

Nang Noom faced extensive challenges in rebuilding her life after this accident as a result of the Royal Thai Government’s (RTG) policy to discriminatorily deny her work accident compensation and rehabilitation assistance from the Workmen’s Compensation Fund (WCF). This denial
was on the basis of her “illegal” entry into Thailand and despite her registered “legal” work status. Nang Noom’s experiences provided the basis of an ongoing campaign to ensure an end to this systematic discrimination against all migrants in Thailand and ensure their official access to the WCF. This campaign, until now unsuccessful in actually ensuring migrant access to the WCF, is summarised in this fact sheet. The main campaign actors were the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), the State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation of Thailand (SERC) and the Thai Labour Solidarity Committee (TLSC). This campaign was conducted at both domestic and international levels simultaneously\

Migrant Workers Denied Access to WCF
RS0711/W751: the Social Security Office (SSO) issued circular RS0711/W751 on 25th October 2001 to clarify means by which more than 2 million migrants from Myanmar, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in Thailand should receive protection following accidents at work. In order to access compensation from the WCF, this circular states that migrants must satisfy the following conditions:
(a) Migrants must show registration documents and a work permit issued by government officials, together with a passport or alien identification documents Although RTG has created a system to register low-skilled labourers from neighbouring countries to legally work in Thailand for more than 20 years now, whereby migrants who enter Thailand “illegally” are issued with residence documents by the Ministry of Interior (Tor 38/1) and work permits by the Ministry of Labour providing an amnesty to work “legally” for one year at a time, these documents are not accepted by the SSO to allow migrant to access the WCF. The need for a passport is said to be paramount. Migrants usually do not have a passport as they entered Thailand illegally and have never possessed or been able to apply for one in their home country. For workers entering the RTG’s new nationality verification (NV) process or who were imported legally into the country, they now possess a “temporary passport” that apparently will allow them to enter into the WCF, although no regulations have formally been issued to confirm this right. However, only around 10% of migrants in Thailand have currently completed NV or entered the country legally.
(b) Their employer must have paid dividends into the WCF The SSO prohibits employers of migrants without the above documentation from paying dividends into the WCF however.
(c) Migrants must have submitted an application for personal income tax payments In order to pay tax a worker has to register for a tax identification number. Most migrants in Thailand cannot receive a tax identification number as they do not have a passport and other required documents to apply.

In case a migrant does not satisfy these conditions, SSO circular RS0711/W751 states employers are assigned responsibility to pay work accident compensation directly to migrants or their dependents and not the SSO’s WCF. At present, most migrants from Thailand’s neighbouring countries working in Thailand cannot satisfy the above conditions and hence their employers are responsible to pay work accident compensation benefits directly to them. This creates an informal system for compensating migrant victims of work-related accidents and disease whereby they rarely receive any compensation at all, especially if there is no union or NGO to assist in negotiations and provide free legal assistance. In addition, the SSO rarely enforces compensation responsibilities and even its own compensation orders on migrant employers.

Challenging SSO’s Systematic Discrimination
Nang Noom’s Case Proceedings: Overcoming Discrimination
• Informal and unsuccessful negotiations for work disability compensation between Nang Noom, employers and the SSO (Mar 2007)
• SSO orders Nang Noom’s employers to pay work disability compensation monthly over 15 years (July 2007)
• Nang Noom appeals the SSO’s order for her employers to pay work disability compensation monthly to the WCF Appeals Committee requesting that the WCF pay compensation directly as a one off payment as required by the Workmen’s Compensation Act (Aug 2007)
• Extensive media coverage of Nang Noom’s case (Sept/Oct 2007)
• Informal one-off settlement of SSO’s compensation order between Nang Noom and her employers (Oct 2007)
• WCF Appeals Sub-Committee considers Nang Noom’s appeal and suggests SSO revise circular RS0711/W751 on the basis it is not fair (Oct 2007)
• WCF Appeals Committee rejects Nang Noom’s appeal stating employer must pay compensation monthly and that migrants are not eligible to access WCF as a result of SSO circular RS0711/W751 (Nov 2007)
• Nang Noom launches Labour Court damages claim against employers for breach of safety laws and disability compensation (Dec 2007)
• Nang Noom appeals WCF Appeals Committee denial of migrant access to the WCF to Region 5 Labour Court (Feb 2008)
• Settlement of Nang Noom’s Labour Court Damages Claim (May 2008)
• Region 5 Labour Court rejects Nang Noom’s appeal against the decision of WCF Appeals Committee for denying her WCF access (July 2008)
• Nang Noom appeals to the Supreme Court for access to WCF (Aug 2008)

Using Domestic Mechanisms to Challenge Systematic Discrimination
• HRDF, SERC and TLSC submit complaint to the National Human Rights Commission of Thailand (NHRC) regarding the SSO’s denial of WCF access to migrants, including Nang Noom (Aug 2007)
• HRDF, SERC and TLSC meet the Minister of Labour on SSO’s denial of WCF access to migrants (Aug 2007)
• HRDF, SERC and TLSC meet SSO’s Secretary General on SSO’s denial of WCF access to migrants (Nov 2007)
• NHRC recommends revocation of RS0711/W751 as it systematically discriminates against migrants (Nov 2007)
• Myanmar migrants in Chiangmai launch Administrative Court Challenge to revoke RS0711/W751 (Apr 2008)
• Administrative Court refuses to consider Myanmar migrant’s administrative challenge to RS0711/W751 on basis it is an issue for the Labour Courts and it does not have jurisdiction to consider the case (April 2008)
• NHRC recommends in extensive report revocation of RS0711/W751 on the basis it systematically discriminates against migrants and is a human rights violation, in particular for disabled Nang Noom (Nov 2007)
• Myanmar migrant workers appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court to reconsider their challenge to revoke RS0711/W751 that was rejected by the Chiangmai Administrative Court (May 2008)
• Thai Labour Movement takes forward issue of migrant accident compensation and Nang Noom’s case in May Day activities and during National Occupational Health and Safety Day (May 2008)
• Supreme Administrative Court refuses to consider Myanmar migrant’s challenge to RS0711/W751 (Nov 2008)
• Myanmar migrants launch Central Labour Court administrative challenge to revoke RS0711/W751 (Dec 2008)
• Central Labour Court rules it has jurisdiction to consider the legality of RS0711/W751 but sends Myanmar migrant’s administrative case to Region 5 Labour Court for a final ruling on the facts and law (May 2009)
• HRDF, SERC and TLSC meet new SSO Secretary General on SSO’s denial of WCF to migrants (July 2009)
• MoL starts discussion on setting up migrant specific work accident insurance fund/scheme (Aug 2009)
• Region 5 Labour Court rejects Myanmar migrant’s administrative challenge to legality of RS0711/W751 on basis plaintiffs do not have standing to file the case (Sept 2009)
• Myanmar migrants appeal to Supreme Court in their administrative case to revoke RS0711/W751 (Oct 2009)
• Myanmar migrant accident victim (Nai Khek) launches Labour Court challenge to legality of RS0711/W751 and demands compensation directly from WCF (Oct 2009)
• Illegal Alien Workers Management Committee approves migrant accident insurance scheme idea (Dec 2009)
• Myanmar migrants launch new Central Administrative Court challenge to RS0711/W751 (Jan 2010)
• Central Administrative Court accepts jurisdiction in Myanmar migrant challenge to RS0711/W751 (Feb 2010)
• MoL issues press statement stating it is finalising set up of migrant work accident life insurance scheme run by private companies with adjudication of damages by WCF officials (Apr 2010)
• HRDF, SERC and TLSC meet Minister of Labour on SSO’s denial of WCF access to migrants and stress work accident insurance is not acceptable as alternative to migrant direct access to WCF (July 2010)
• Labour court rejects Nai Khek’s challenge to legality of RS0711/W751 (July 2010)
• Nai Khek appeals to Supreme Court for access to WCF and revocation of RS0711/W751 (Aug 2010)

Using International Mechanisms to Challenge Systematic Discrimination
• SERC start planning for activation of ILO treaty supervision mechanisms on basis denial of WCF
access to Myanmar migrants breaches C19 (Nov 2007)
• ILO Regional Director writes to Ministry of Labour stating that the denial of WCF access to
Myanmar migrants appears to breach of C19 (Jun 2008)
• SERC, HRDF and TLSC request support from international unions for submitting an ILO C19
related breach complaint to the ILO Committee of Experts (Oct 2008)
• SERC, HRDF and TLSC petition the UN Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination (CERD Committee) and UN Special Rapporteurs on Migrants, Racism and
Myanmar on the basis RTG denial of WCF access for migrants systematic discrimination in breach
of the CERD Convention and international human rights law (Mar 2009)
• Human Rights Watch and HRDF raise Thailand’s denial of migrant WCF access as being
systematic discrimination in the 11th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and
submit an accompanying complaint to UN Special Rapporteur on Migrants (Jun 2009)
• SERC Secretary General Sawit Keawan submits an Article 23 comment protesting against RTG for breach of ILO Convention 19 to the ILO Committee of Experts during the 98th Session of
International Labour Conference in Geneva (Jun 2009)
• UN Special Rapporteur on Migrants writes a letter to RTG highlighting that denial of WCF
accident compensation to migrants is potentially in breach of international law (Oct 2009)
• Thailand’s Breach of ILO C-19 considered by ILO’s Committee of Experts in Geneva (Nov 2009)
• ILO’s Committee of Experts requests Thailand to revoke RS0711/W751 in strongly worded
observation (Mar 2010)
• Human Rights Watch and HRDF raises Thailand’s denial of migrant WCF access as being
systematic discrimination in the 14th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and
submits accompanying complaint to UN Special Rapporteur on Migrants (Jun 2010)
• SERC submits an additional Article 23 comment against RTG for breach of ILO Convention 19
to the ILO Committee of Experts to consider in Geneva in November 2010 given development of
migrant work accident insurance scheme is discriminatory and goes against February 2010 advice
of ILO Committee of Experts (Sept 2010)

The Struggle Continues
By May 2008, through negotiations with her employer and informal settlements in and out of court, Nang Noom received a total of 584,896 Baht (around US$18, 000) in a lump sum payment for her permanent disability, which is the largest migrant work accident compensation settlement ever in Thailand. Nang Noom’s additional appeal for compensation from the WCF was sent to the Supreme Court (Labour Division) in August 2008 and is pending, unconsidered until this day.

In order to address the systematic discrimination resulting from denial of access to the WCF to migrant workers, HRDF’s Migrant Justice Programme has worked with migrant communities to challenge the legality of circular RS0711/W751 utilizing the Thai legal system (most Thai justice and administrative courts) with test cases involving migrants from Myanmar. However it now seems Circular RS0711/W751 has become unreviewable in Thailand’s courts and domestic legal remedies have been exhausted. HRDF holds little faith that existing more recent prosecutions on this issue will be successful as all cases until now are simply rejected or end up at the Supreme Court gathering dust on the shelves. The Thai justice system has failed to address discrimination against migrants in systematic or just ways.

Thailand, as a signatory to the International Labour Organisation’s Equality of Treatment (Accident
Compensation) Convention 1925 (C-19), has the obligation to provide migrant workers equal access to work accident compensation as Thai nationals. With the support from international trade unions such as ITUC, BWI and AFL-CIO, and on the ground assistance from HRDF, SERC submitted Thailand’s breach of C-19 to the ILO Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations in June 2009. This committee ruled in March 2010 for the immediate revocation of the deeply concerning RS0711/W751 circular, given it breached the terms of C19 and had very negative impacts on the lives of millions of migrant workers. An additional complaint has been submitted to the ILO in September 2010.

Thailand, as signatory to the UN Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, also has the obligation not to discriminate against anyone. Hence this WCF access denial issue was submitted to UN Special Rapporteurs. In October 2009 the Special Rapportuer on the Human Rights of Migrants engaged Thailand on this issue but received no response. A Human Rights Watch and HRDF statement regarding this issue at the UN Human Rights Council on 2nd June 2009 evoked a response from the government promising that they are “actively working to protect the rights of both regular and irregular migrants in Thailand.” At a similar statement before the Council on 1st June 2010 gained no response from the RTG.

To date, most migrants in Thailand still cannot access the WCF, although since August 2009 the Ministry of Labour insists they are finalising a specific work accident compensation insurance or kind of life insurance migrant workers. SERC, HRDF and TLSC disagree with this private insurance idea, and given there has been no union or civil society consultation, met with the Minister of Labour in July 2010 to discuss the issue. The Minister provided no genuine response to this issue in the meeting and continues to press ahead with the insurance idea without consultation.

HRDF continues to work informally to settle migrant accident compensation claims, assisting more than 200 cases to date which continue to be settled for millions of Thai Baht in damages. Life threatening and life changing injuries and disease related to work are now resulting in increased compensation across the whole of Thailand, but compensation received is far less than that provided by the law. HRDF continues to challenge systematic discrimination with new test cases in the courts in Thailand and this issue continues to gain media attention and interest. But without a change of policy, when NGOs or unions are not there to assist, migrant accidents go unheard, uncompensated and accident victim’s lives are filled with suffering.

SERC letter to ILO

Ref: SERC ILO 1/53
21st September 2010

Ms. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry
Director, ILO International Labour Standards Department
4 route des Morillons
CH-1211 Genève 22
Switzerland

Subject: Comment in Accordance with Article 23 of the ILO Constitution on the Royal Thai
Government’s (RTG) Failure to Observe the Equality of Treatment (Accident
Compensation) Convention 1925 (C-19)

Dear Ms. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry:

The State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation (SERC) is a confederation of 43 state
enterprise unions in Thailand representing over 170, 000 members which is affiliated to the
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). SERC desires to communicate a Comment to the
International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of
Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) by means of this letter, in accordance with Article
23 of the ILO Constitution, on the Royal Thai Government’s (RTG) continued failure to observe
the Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation) Convention 1925 (C-19).

This particular Comment is a follow up to a previous Comment (supporting document one)
submitted by SERC to the CEACR on 5th June 2009 during the 98th Session of the International
Labour Conference (ILC). The CEACR considered this latter Comment in November 2009 and
made an observation on the RTG’s adherence to C19 which is discussed in detail at page 715 of
the Report of the CEACR to the 99th Session of the ILC (supporting document two). SERC
expresses our sincere thanks to the CEACR for prompt and careful consideration of our Comment.

Thailand, which ratified C-19 on 5th April 1968, continues to deny to migrant workers (and their
dependents) from Myanmar who are injured or killed in workplace accidents within its jurisdiction
treatment with respect to workmen's compensation which is equal to what it grants Thai nationals. As this Comment again shows, Thailand continues to fail to grant workers' compensation benefits to such migrants using several rationales, all of which amount to a denial of such benefits to these migrants as a class of persons. SERC maintains that the RTG continues not to permit the award of workers' compensation benefits to migrants from Myanmar working in Thailand by means of practices that plainly contravene the equality of treatment norm established in C-19.

As SERC repeats from our previous Comment, Myanmar continues to be a paramount problem for
international law and in particular the system of international labour standards articulated by the ILO. In addition, the predatory policies of Myanmar’s government continue to create an environment of repression and economic deterioration that drive millions of workers from Myanmar to seek work in Thailand. These low skilled workers, who make up around 5 to 10 percent of Thailand’s labour force, are relegated to a social zone of lawlessness where they are not protected by the criminal and civil laws of Thailand, much less Thai labour laws.

More importantly however, this denial of the rule of law to migrants from Myanmar in Thailand,
both with respect to domestic Thai laws as well as international labour standards such as the
principle of non-discrimination established in C-19, contributes to creating a pool of workers
without rights and recourse that Thai employers and officials can exploit at will. Given the
significance of Myanmar to the ILO, we request the organisation to once again remonstrate with
the RTG to induce its adherence to C-19 by emphasising the RTG’s need to protect workers who
have left Myanmar because of human rights abuses and economic mismanagement.

SERC has since 2006 been collaborating in work with migrants from Myanmar undertaken by the
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) in Thailand. HRDF has been providing
assistance to migrant work accident victims from Myanmar and documenting the Ministry of
Labour’s (MoL) response to the compensation of these individuals. Data gathered by HRDF shows
work accident victims from Myanmar continue to be denied access to the Social Security Office
(SSO) Workmen’s Compensation Fund (WCF). The WCF was established to provide formal and
secure compensation to all ‘workers’ in case of work-related accidents and disease.

As CEACR has previously observed from HRDF’s 2009 report Challenging Systematic
Discrimination against Migrant Workers in Thailand: Learning From the ‘)ang )oom’ Test Case,
since December 2006 HRDF has been supporting a work accident victim from Myanmar, Nang
Noom Mae Seng, in her attempts to gain disability compensation from the WCF. This claim
continues to be rejected by the SSO despite decisions by the National Human Rights Commission
of Thailand (NHRC) that the rejection is discriminatory and breaches human rights standards.

During 2009 and 2010 HRDF also supported other migrants from Myanmar seeking to gain access
to work accident compensation from the WCF, in particular the cases of Nai Khek and Nai Htun
(updates on all these test cases are outlined in supporting documents three and four). When
considering the progression of all these cases and other migrant accident compensation claims that have also been rejected by the WCF, SERC must conclude that the RTG’s continued refusal to allow migrants from Myanmar access to work-related accident and disease compensation from the WCF constitutes systematic discrimination.

As a result of this discrimination, which impacts on at least two million low skilled migrants in
Thailand from Myanmar who work in particularly dangerous and accident prone workplaces,
SERC considers the RTG continues to fail to adhere to its obligations as a signatory to C-19, in
particular Article 1.1 Myanmar’s Government ratified C-19 on 30th September 1927 and Thailand
is obliged to compensate migrants from Myanmar the same way it compensates Thai nationals for
work-related accidents and disease.

As the CEACR is already well aware, the refusal to allow migrants from Myanmar access to the
WCF results from their continued inability to satisfy conditions outlined in circular RS0711/W751,
issued by the SSO on 25th October 2001. For migrants to access accident compensation directly
from the WCF, the circular states that: (a) They must possess a passport or alien registration
documents; and (b) Their employers must have registered for and paid a dividend into the WCF
(supporting document five).

The systems for managing irregular migration from Myanmar into Thailand continue to be
dysfunctional because of difficulties experienced by the two Governments in verifying the
nationality (nationality verification or “NV”) of Myanmar person’s already in Thailand, and also
because of an inability to begin fresh import of “legal” workers from Myanmar into Thailand. As a
result, most of the estimated two million migrants from Myanmar currently working in Thailand
originally were smuggled into the country illegally without documents or a passport. However, in
recognition of a need for low skilled labourers, the RTG has since 1996 created “temporary”
systems for registering low skilled migrants from Myanmar to lawfully remain and work in
Thailand for one year pending deportation for illegal entry by means of the issuance of Tor 38/1
certificates by the Ministry of Interior (since 2004) and work permits by the MoL.

As of August 31st 2009 this “amnesty” programme for “illegal” migrant entries resulted in over 1.1
million workers from Myanmar registering for Tor 38/1 certificates and work permits which
allowed them to work legally in Thailand until 28th February 2010. As of 28th February 2010,
registration processes were extended only for those willing to submit biographical information to
Myanmar’s authorities as required for entrance into the NV process. Over 800, 000 migrants from
Myanmar entered NV, renewed their work permits and currently possess Tor 38/1 certificates.
According to a Cabinet resolution of 19th January 2010 (supporting document six), these persons
have been granted permission to remain in Thailand to work until 28th February 2012 in order to
complete NV to legalise their status and then can remain in Thailand for a further 4 years after
this. The SSO however refuses to accept the Tor 38/1 certificate and accompanying work permit
possessed by these 800, 000 Myanmar workers in place of a passport, temporary passport or
alien registration documents, and on this basis, continues to deny them access to the WCF.

As of September 2010, only around 100, 000 migrants from Myanmar in Thailand have completed
NV and only around 500 migrants have entered legally from Myanmar to Thailand through formal
import channels. These workers now possess temporary passports with an accompanying Thai
visa issued for an initial 2 years and extendable for another 2 years. Such workers also possess
“green” work permits which reflect their “legal” status. As such persons are now considered to be
“legally” in Thailand the RTG states they can access the WCF and social security systems in the
same way as Thai workers. It is important to note however that the MoL has yet to issue
regulations stating migrants can access the WCF and there have been no public awareness
raising activities for migrants concerned on their rights. As a result, there is much confusion
remaining in practice about migrants’ ability to access the WCF, even upon completion of NV.

The NV process continues to be confusing for migrants and their employers given the failure by
MOL officials to conduct effective public awareness raising and implementation of NV has been
generally very slow. There is a lack of transparency of brokers that are used as part of the
complex 13-step process with unreasonably high costs being charged and a concurrent increase
in migrant debt bondage. In addition, importantly there is understandable fear amongst those
migrants from Myanmar who entered the process that the Myanmar authorities will misuse their
biographical information now or in the future. For this reason, evidence suggests many of these
workers entered incorrect information on NV forms and will not complete the process. Finally,
only around 1.1 million migrants from Myanmar were eligible for the process as “registered”
migrants prior to 28th February 2010 as the process was not open to unregistered migrants.
Over 800, 000 migrants from Myanmar remain working in Thailand without temporary passports
but instead with Tor 38/1 temporary stay permission and work permits awaiting NV. In addition,
an estimated 1 million migrants remain working in Thailand unregistered, ineligible for NV and
subject to deportation. Finally, a significant number of previously registered migrants are refusing
to enter NV and a not insignificant number of migrants who have entered NV have put false
information into the process. As a result, most migrants from Myanmar in Thailand have not yet
completed the NV process and hence continue to be unable to satisfy the two conditions outlined
in circular RS0711/ W751 for access to the WCF.

The SSO also prohibits employers from paying dividends into the WCF for migrants from
Myanmar who have yet to complete NV or do not have a temporary passport. Regulations
governing the WCF state however that it is the responsibility of all employers of one or more
‘workers’ to pay these dividends and it is the duty of the SSO to enforce this. If employers of Thai
workers fail to pay dividends into the WCF and their workers suffer accidents or disease at work,
the SSO can ensure retrospective dividend payments are made by employers and the WCF can
then pay compensation to victims directly. However, such retrospective payments are not
enforced against migrant employers.

As most of the estimated two million migrants from Myanmar in Thailand continue to be unable to
access the WCF, circular RS0711/ W751 dictates if such workers incur a work accident or disease
their employers are responsible to pay compensation to them directly, instead of the WCF.
However, as the CEACR noted in it’s report to the 99th session of the ILC regarding RTG’s
compliance with C19, “The Committee notes that the Government does not contest the fact that,
in practice, as explained by the SERC, the SSO orders obliging the employer to pay compensation
directly to the worker concerned are usually ignored, as migrant workers are unable to engage in
costly and lengthy judicial proceedings necessary to enforce the SSO orders.”

Migrants from Myanmar are one of the most exploited and vulnerable groups in Thailand working
in dangerous, dirty and difficult conditions from which they frequently incur work accidents and
disease. HRDF has documented over 200 Myanmar migrants’ work accidents in the past few years
and this is from their work in only two of Thailand’s 77 provinces. Although official statistics are
unavailable, it would not be unreasonable to estimate that thousands of migrants from Myanmar
incur work accidents each year and many more suffer or will in the future suffer work diseases.

Migrants rarely receive accident compensation from employers following work-related accidents
and disease as they rarely have courage or strength to negotiate for this compensation informally.
Similarly, migrants rarely petition the SSO to enforce their right to compensation as they have
little access to official systems and/or information, much of which is only available in written Thai
language which is not understood by migrants from Myanmar. Even if they petition the SSO, with
assistance from labour organisations, migrants are rarely able to negotiate its bureaucracy. In
rare cases where SSO orders employers to pay compensation to migrants, such orders are
usually ignored and require court judgments to secure enforcement. In SERC’s opinion, the MoL’s
policy refusing migrant access to the WCF continues to impact severely on the lives of thousands
of migrant work accident victims from Myanmar and their families.

In concluding remarks by the CEACR in its report to the 99th session of the ILC, the Committee
strongly urged the RTG to revoke SSO Circular RS0711/W751 and allow migrant access to the
WCF, stating that “… in a situation where equal treatment of migrant workers may be jeopardized
on a mass scale leading to exploitation and suffering, the bona fide application of the Convention
[C19] would require member States to deploy special and urgent efforts commensurate with the
gravity of the situation … With regard to the situation in law, the Committee observes that, while
the Workmen’s Compensation Act grants foreign workers the right to equality of treatment, the
SSO circular RS0711/W751 subjects the exercise of this right to fulfillment of certain conditions,
which in the current situation effectively deprives migrant workers of protection by the WCF
enjoyed by the Thai workers… The Committee asks the Government to review the policy of the
SSO … in the light of the above guiding principles and safeguards established by international law
for the promotion of equal treatment of foreign workers. Taking into account the gravity of the
situation, the Committee asks the Government to instruct the SSO to take positive and urgent
measures lifting restrictive conditions and facilitating access of migrant workers to the WCF
irrespective of their nationality.”

During 2009 and 2010, some parts of the RTG appear to have finally accepted the premise that
migrants from Myanmar who incur accidents at work are not currently receiving effective
remedies under systems provided by Circular RS0711/ W751. This is evident in government
documents obtained by SERC between September 2009 and August 2010 (supporting documents
seven to nine), MoL press statements (supporting documents ten and eleven) and officials’
general public comments and news reports (supporting documents twelve to seventeen).
However, the RTG seems to have decided on the wrong approach to address these challenges.
The RTG seems to have decided that setting up a separate work accident compensation fund or
setting up a private insurance scheme to provide insurance to these migrants is the solution to
these challenges. Such scheme would be managed by private companies with adjudication on
compensation conducted by WCF officials. Neither SERC nor representatives of migrants from
Myanmar were consulted on these plans by the SSO or other agencies of the RTG.

SERC considers that plans to set up a separate and privately managed fund or insurance scheme
to provide accident, sickness, disability and death compensation benefits to migrant work accident
victims from Myanmar (and their dependents) is a worrisome development because it appears the
RTG is abandoning the principle of providing non-discriminatory access to the WCF. There are
allegations, which have not yet been confirmed given the opaque and non-participatory nature of
the decision making process surrounding these plans, that suggest benefits to be received by
migrants under such schemes may be less than those received by Thai work accident victims
through the WCF. SERC consider such planned measures are illegal under the Workmen’s
Compensation Act 1994, which provides access to the WCF to all “workers” irrespective of
nationality.

SERC also considers that such plans, if implemented, would signal that the RTG has decided not
to comply with its international labour rights obligations as a signatory to C-19 (in particular
Article one) because such measures would result in systematic discrimination against migrants
from Myanmar who are not provided with “equality of treatment” with that of Thai workers, as
required under this Convention. That such private insurance plans would apply only to non-Thai
persons clearly indicate that they would be discriminatory measures in effect, whatever the
benefits migrants from Myanmar may receive. SERC also notes such discriminatory treatment also
braches Thailand’s 2007 Constitution which under Article 30 guarantees non-discrimination.

For all these reasons, SERC is now for a second time seeking the assistance of the ILO in relation
to Thailand’s non-adherence to C-19. In association with our network of labour and human rights
groups in Thailand, SERC leaders have met on several occasions with three Ministers of Labour as
well as senior MoL officials to request their action to remedy the problem of migrant accident
victims rarely receiving work accident compensation. Most recently, we petitioned the Minister of
Labour on 12th July 2010 (supporting documents ten and eighteen). The promises of action by the
Ministers and senior officials made to SERC at these meetings have not been forthcoming.

Back in 2007, SERC first petitioned ILO officials in Bangkok to initiate a ‘good offices’ approach
with the MoL, but because of MoL resistance this process was ultimately unproductive. Two sets
of recommendations from the National Human Rights Commission to the MoL on this issue have
also been ignored. In late 2009 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of
Migrants officially corresponded with the RTG on this WCF issue but he received no response. In
addition, despite SERC’s Comment to the ILO’s CEACR in 2009 and CEACR’s strongly worded
report in February 2010, the MoL continues to press ahead with discriminatory plans to provide
compensation to migrant work accident victims from Myanmar without consultation with or regard
for the suggestions from SERC, civil society groups or representatives of the migrants concerned.

HRDF continues to assist migrants, including Nang Noom, to challenge the legality of circular
RS0711/W751 in Thai courts. The SSO was prosecuted in Chiangmai Administrative Court in
April 2008 by a group of migrants from Myanmar. However, as noted in our previous Comment, a
November 2008 ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court upheld the decision of Chiangmai
Administrative Court rejecting jurisdiction in the case, on the basis that Administrative Courts
have no power to review labour policies falling within the realms of the Labour Courts. This case
was then submitted with the same plaintiffs as an Administrative case to the Central Labour Court
in December 2008. The court accepted jurisdiction in May 2009 but then the case was rejected by
the Region 5 Labour Court in September 2009. A petition was filed with the Supreme Court in
October 2009 to appeal Region 5 Labour Court’s decision and the case remains pending.

Nang Noom’s personal appeal for compensation from the WCF was appealed to the Supreme
Court of Thailand (Labour Division) in August 2008 and remains pending, following the Labour
Court’s rejection of her claim. Recently, two additional cases of migrants (Nai Khek and Sai Htun)
were also appealed to the Supreme Court and remain pending after all domestic courts rejected
their appeals for compensation from the WCF. Finally, three workers from Myanmar petitioned
the Central Administrative Court to revoke Circular RS0711/W751 in January 2010 but the court
has not issued a response to this submission. In all of these pending court cases, the report of the
CEACR to the 99th session of the ILC on the RTG’s compliance with C19 and its discussion of
RTG’s international labour obligations was submitted as evidence by the plaintiffs.

A decision on the legality of RS0711/W751 issued by any Supreme Court rulings in the future is
not binding, as Thailand’s Courts of Justice (as opposed to Administrative Courts) have no power
to revoke administrative acts of the MoL. Although one case is pending in the Administrative
Court, SERC believes it is unlikely the court will provide any assistance based on our observations
of the failed legal challenges over the past 4 years. Circular RS0711/W751 has therefore become
unreviewable in Thailand’s courts and SERC contends all domestic legal remedies available in this
matter have been exhausted.

In an era of global migration, international human rights and labour standards should be enforced
in migrant receiving countries to ensure migrants are able to work in acceptable and fair
conditions and that all forms of discrimination against them are removed. The failure by the RTG
to permit migrant access to the WCF should be viewed as a challenge to the principle that all
governments have an international obligation to ensure protection of the labour rights of migrants.
SERC holds that massive irregular outflows of workers from Myanmar, prompted by the continued
failure of Myanmar’s Government to respect human rights and move towards an economic system
more appropriate to developing an economically prosperous and just nation, should not provide
an excuse for Thailand to exploit migrants from Myanmar in search of a better life.

SERC sincerely hopes the ILO can assist to persuade the RTG to remove discriminatory obstacles
faced by migrants seeking access to decent work in Thailand. On behalf of SERC, I therefore
request that you kindly forward this Comment and attached supporting documents to the ILO’s
CEACR for review at their earliest possibly opportunity. I sincerely hope that CEACR will avail
itself of this detailed submission to examine again the discrimination in Thailand suffered by
migrants from Myanmar under C-19. By considering this issue, SERC hopes the ILO will also be
able to consider root causes of the mass migration of Myanmar’s people and the continued
failings of the Myanmar authorities to respect core labour standards, the result of which is the
growing and irregular migration flows from Myanmar that my country continues to face.
I look forward to CEACR’s response on this issue in due course.

Yours Respectfully,
Mr. Sawit Keawan
General Secretary: State Enterprise Workers Relations Confederation


Attachments:
1. ‘Comment in Accordance with Article 23 of the ILO Constitution on the Royal Thai
Government’s Failure to Observe the Equality of Treatment (Accident Compensation)
Convention 1925 (C-19),’ letter submitted by SERC to the CEACR on 5th June 2009 in Geneva
2. ‘Report of the Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations
to the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference – Thailand: Equality of Treatment
(Accident Compensation) Convention, 1925 (No. 19),’ issued in February 2010
3. ‘Migrant Workers From Myanmar Denied WCF Access’ (HRDF Campaign Fact Sheet,
September 2010)
4. ‘Select Case Studies of Myanmar Migrant Work Accident Victims in Thailand’ (HRDF Report,
September 2010)
5. SSO Circular RS0711/W751 (issued 25th Oct. 2001) re: Providing Protection for Migrant
Workers Who Incur Work Related Accidents/Illnesses (Original Thai version with unofficial
English translation by HRDF)
6. ‘Extension of Time Period for Nationality Verification and Granting an Amnesty to Remain in
the Kingdom of Thailand to Alien Workers/Creating an Additional Committee Member for the
Alien Workers Management Committee,’ Cabinet Agenda Item 12 Resolution issued on 19th
January 2010 (Original Thai version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
7. ‘Report of the Meeting of the Subcommittee for Management and Processing of Alien Workers
According to Systems Meeting Number 1/2553 on Wednesday 2nd June 2010’ (Original Thai
version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
8. ‘Record of Information Ref. Ror Ngor 0611/1316 re: Protection of Alien Workers Who
Entered the Country Illegally,’ issued by the Social Security Office’s Workmen’s
Compensation Fund on 15th September 2009 (Original Thai version with unofficial English
translation by HRDF)
9. ‘Record of Information Ref. Ror Ngor 0611/11749 re: Protection of Alien Workers Who
Entered the Country Illegally,’ issued by the Social Security Office’s Workmen’s
Compensation Fund on 26th August 2009 (Original Thai version with unofficial English
translation by HRDF)
10. ‘State Enterprises Workers’ Relations Confederation and its networks pave a way for migrant
workers to access to compensation fund,’ Ministry of Labour Press Release on 12th July 2010
11. ‘MOL subcommittee on alien workers finds a resolution to protect suffering alien workers,’
Ministry of Labour Press Release 8th April 2010
12. ‘Insurance Aims for Alien Workers,’ Than Online News issued on 28th July 2010 (Original
Thai version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
13. ‘Alien Workers Insurance Doesn’t Appear,’ Post Today issued on 5th July 2010 (Original Thai
version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
14. ‘Insurance Companies Push Away Idea of Insuring Alien Workers,’ Than Hun issued on 4th
June 2010 (Original Thai version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
15. ‘Aliens Should Purchase Life Insurance Instead of Entering Social Security Systems,’
Matichon Online issued on 2nd June 2010 (Original Thai version with unofficial English
translation by HRDF)
16. ‘Ministry of Labour Prepare to Allow Alien Access to Worker Accident Compensation
Systems in Form of Life Insurance,’ Thai Official News Agency issued on 2nd June 2010
(Original Thai version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
17. ‘Preparing to Set Up Compensation Fund to Protect Over 1 Million Alien Workers,’ MCOT
issued on 2nd June 2010 (Original Thai version with unofficial English translation by HRDF)
18. ‘Migrant Workers Must Urgently Be Granted Access to Work Accident Compensation,’ Press
Statement by SERC on 12th July 2010

วันพุธที่ 6 ตุลาคม พ.ศ. 2553

แถลงการณ์เนื่องในวันงานที่มีคุณค่าสากล

แถลงการณ์คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98
ฉบับที่ 5/2553
เรื่อง ทวงสัญญา 1 ปี กับความคืบหน้าในการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO

วันนี้ (วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 7 ตุลาคม 2553) เนื่องในวันงานที่มีคุณค่าสกล (International Decent Work’s Day) พวกเราเครือข่ายองค์กรแรงงานต่างๆ ในนามของคณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 อันประกอบด้วย สภาองค์การลูกจ้าง , สหพันธ์แรงงาน , กลุ่มสหภาพแรงงาน , คณะกรรมการสมานฉันท์แรงงานไทย , สมาพันธ์แรงงานรัฐวิสาหกิจสัมพันธ์ รวมไปถึง สมาชิกสหพันธ์แรงงานระดับสากล (GUF) ในประเทศไทย ได้ออกมารณรงค์เรียกร้องต่อรัฐบาลไทยเพื่อสิทธิและคุณภาพชีวิตที่ดีของพี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงาน

ซึ่งที่ในช่วง 2 ปีที่ผ่านมานี้ คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ได้มีการเคลื่อนไหวกดดันต่อกระทรวงแรงงานและรัฐบาลอย่างต่อเนื่องเพื่อให้รัฐบาลให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ทั้ง 2 ฉบับ โดยเฉพาะเมื่อวันที่ 7 ตุลาคม 2552 ที่พวกเราคณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ได้พาพี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงานกว่า 5,000 คน ออกมารณรงค์เคลื่อนไหวหน้าทำเนียบรัฐบาล และยื่นหนังสือต่อ ฯพณฯ นายกรัฐมนตรี ผ่านท่านรองนายกรัฐมนตรี พลตรีสนั่น ขจรประศาสน์ ซึ่งท่านได้รับปากว่าจะดำเนินงานผลักดันการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ให้เรียบร้อยภายใน 3 เดือน จนถึงวันนี้ครบ 1 ปี การให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ก็ยังไม่เป็นที่เรียบร้อย ถึงแม้จะมีการประชุ่มร่วมกับคณะกรรมการประสานงานเพื่อการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ของกระทรวงแรงงานถึง 5 ครั้ง ซึ่งมีมติร่วมกันว่าให้รัฐบาลไทยให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ทั้ง 2 ฉบับพร้อมกัน โดยให้มีการให้สัตยาบันก่อนแล้วค่อยทยอยแก้กฎหมายหลังจากนั้น

ดังนั้นในวันนี้พวกเราในนามคณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ขอทวงสัญญาจากรัฐบาลในการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 อย่างเร่งด่วน โดยต้องนำเรื่องดังกล่าวเสนอขอความเห็นชอบจากคณะรัฐมนตรี และรัฐสภาตามลำดับโดยด่วน การสร้างงานที่มีคุณค่าจะเกิดขึ้นไม่ได้เลยหากรัฐบาลไม่รับรองอนุสัญญาหลักทั้ง 2 ฉบับ ในโอกาสครบรอบ 91 ปี ของการก่อตั้งองค์การแรงงานระหว่างประเทศ และการเข้าเป็นประเทศภาคีสมาชิกองค์กรแรงงานระหว่างประเทศของประเทศไทย ในปี 2553 นี้ เป็นวาระสำคัญในการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญาทั้ง 2 ฉบับ

การที่รัฐบาลไม่รับรองอนุสัญญาทั้ง 2 ฉบับดังกล่าว เป็นเหตุสำคัญประการหนึ่งที่ทำให้ผู้ใช้แรงงานมีข้อจำกัดในการรวมตัวจัดตั้งเป็นองค์กรของคนงานและมีข้อจำกัดในการเจรจาต่อรอง ซึ่งถือว่าเป็นการละเมิดสิทธิขั้นพื้นฐานของคนงาน และแสดงให้เห็นถึงความไม่ใส่ใจในคุณภาพชีวิตของผู้ใช้แรงงาน ที่จะได้มาโดยรูปแบบการรวมตัวและเจรจาต่อรองกับอำนาจทุน ดังนั้นเพื่อแสดงให้เห็นถึงความจริงใจในการแก้ไขปัญหาของผู้ใช้แรงงานซึ่งมีจำนวนมากถึง 37 ล้านคน รัฐบาลไทยต้องให้สัตยาบันรับรองอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 โดยทันที ทั้งนี้หากรัฐบาลไทยยังเพิกเฉย ไม่ให้ความสำคัญต่อการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ทั้ง 2 ฉบับดังกล่าว พวกเราในนามของคณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ก็จะมีการรณรงค์กดดันอย่างเข้มข้นและต่อเนื่อง ไม่ว่าจะเป็นการรณรงค์ในประเทศและการรณรงค์ในระดับสากลร่วมกับพี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงานทั่วโลก

พร้อมกันนี้เพื่อเป็นการยกระดับคุณภาพชีวิตของพี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงาน ให้สอดคล้องกับการทำงานที่มีคุณค่า คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ขอสนับสนุนการรณรงค์ผลักดันค่าจ้างขั้นต่ำที่เป็นธรรมของพี่น้องผู้ใช้แรงงาน 421 บาทต่อวัน เท่ากันทั่วประเทศ เพื่อให้ผู้ใช้แรงงานสามารถดำรงชีพอยู่ได้จริงในสภาพเศรษฐกิจปัจจุบัน

แถลงเมื่อวันพฤหัสบดีที่ 7 ตุลาคม 2553
เนื่องในวันงานที่มีคุณค่าสากล
คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98

แถลงการณ์สนับสนุนนโยบายพิสูจน์สัญชาติแรงงานข้ามชาติ

แถลงการณ์
สนับสนุนนโยบายจดทะเบียนแรงงานข้ามชาติรอบใหม่
เรียกร้องรัฐต้องดูแลสิทธิแรงงาน สิทธิสุขภาพแรงงานข้ามชาติและครอบครัวในฐานะมนุษย์อย่างจริงจัง
ปัจจุบันมีการประมาณการณ์จำนวนแรงงานข้ามชาติในประเทศไทยอย่างน้อยสองล้านคนที่อยู่ในกระบวนการจ้างแรงงาน และมีแรงงานมากว่าหนึ่งล้านที่ทำงานแบบไม่ถูกกฎหมาย เนื่องจากเงื่อนไขของนโยบายที่ไม่เอื้ออำนวยต่อการเข้าสู่การทำงานอย่างถูกกฎหมาย ดังนั้นองค์กรพัฒนาเอกชน องค์กรแรงงาน และตัวแทนแรงงานข้ามชาติตามที่มีรายชื่อข้างท้าย จึงมีมติเห็นชอบร่วมกันดังนี้
๑. สนับสนุนการจดทะเบียนแรงงานข้ามชาติ เพราะจะแก้ปัญหาการขาดแคลนแรงงาน และจะทำให้แรงงานสามารถเข้าถึงสิทธิต่าง ๆได้มากขึ้น เช่น สิทธิด้านสุขภาพ เป็นต้น แต่ที่ผ่านมาการเปิดจดทะเบียนแรงงานไม่จูงใจให้แรงงานและนายจ้างเข้ามาจดทะเบียน เนื่องจาก ระยะเวลาที่เปิดจดทะเบียนไม่เหมาะสม ประเภทกิจการที่เปิดให้จ้างแรงงานข้ามชาติได้ไม่สอดคล้องกับความเป็นจริงกับงานที่แรงงานข้ามชาติทำอยู่ แรงงานไม่รับรู้ข้อมูลที่เกี่ยวข้องกับการจดทะเบียน และยังไม่ครอบคลุมผู้ติดตามแรงงาน รวมทั้งมีขั้นตอนที่ยุ่งยาก เปิดช่องให้ขบวนการนายหน้าเข้ามาแสวงหาผลประโยชน์ จึงต้องมีการปรับปรุงกระบวนการจดทะเบียนใหม่ โดยรัฐต้องมีการประชาสัมพันธ์ให้กว้างขวางในภาษาของแรงงาน ผ่านสื่อสาธารณะ เช่น ทีวี ต้องเปิดจดทะเบียนอย่างน้อย ๖ เดือน เปิดให้แรงงานที่ไม่มีนายจ้างสามารถจดทะเบียนได้ และให้เวลาไปหานายจ้างภายใน ๓ เดือน การจดทะเบียนต้องครอบคลุมผู้ติดตามและสมาชิกในครอบครัว และเปิดให้แรงงานที่อยู่ในประเทศไทยเข้าสู่การจดทะเบียนก่อนจะมีการนำเข้าแรงงาน
๒. ต้องมีนโยบายระยะยาว ที่ชัดเจนในการบริหารจัดการแรงงานข้ามชาติและคนข้ามชาติทั้งหมด โดยต้องมีความสมดุลย์ระหว่างการพัฒนาเศรษฐกิจ กับสิทธิมนุษยชน และต้องมีกลไก/หน่วยงานรับผิดชอบโดยตรง และสอดรับการสถานการณ์การย้ายถิ่นในภูมิภาคนี้
๓. ต้องมีมาตรการเร่งด่วนที่จะทำให้มีการบังคับใช้กฎหมายในการคุ้มครองสิทธิมนุษยชนของแรงงานข้ามชาติอย่างจริงจังในประเทศไทย ต้องปรับปรุงกลไกการรับเรื่องร้องทุกข์ การให้ข้อมูลความรู้เรื่องสิทธิและกฎหมายแก่แรงงาน ยุติการจับกุม ส่งกลับ แต่ต้องเปิดให้แรงงานและผู้ติดตามทุกคนเข้าสู่ระบบการจดทะเบียนได้
๔. ต้องสนับสนุนการมีส่วนร่วมของแรงงานข้ามชาติ เอ็นจีโอ และองค์กรแรงงานไทย ในกระบวนการจดทะเบียนและการกำหนดนโยบายทุกขั้นตอน
องค์กรสนับสนุน
เครือข่ายฟ้ามิตร (Prevention on HIV/AIDS Among Migrant Worker in Thailand-PHAMIT)
เครือข่ายปฏิบัติการแรงงานข้ามชาติ (Action Network for Migrant-ANM)
เครือข่ายองค์กรด้านแรงงานข้ามชาติ(Migrant Working Group-MWG)
สมาพันธ์แรงงานรัฐวิสาหกิจสัมพันธ์ (สรส.)
คณะกรรมการสมานฉันท์แรงงานไทย (คสรท.)
มูลนิธิรักษ์ไทย
มูลนิธิศูนย์คุ้มครองสิทธิด้านเอดส์
องค์การ PATH ประเทศไทย
มูลนิธิเพื่อสุขภาพและการเรียนรู้ของกลุ่มแรงงานชาติพันธุ์ (MAP)
มูลนิธิเพื่อสิทธิมนุษยชนและการพัฒนา
มูลนิธิพัฒนาเครือข่ายเอดส์ ภาคอีสาน (AIDSNet)
สมาคมส่งเสริมพัฒนาการสังคม (SDA)
สมาคมชาวพม่าในประเทศไทย

วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 22 กรกฎาคม พ.ศ. 2553

ILO Convention 87&98 Study Group


กลุ่มศึกษา “ผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98
เมื่อวันที่ 20 กรกฎาคม 2553 คณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ร่วมกับ โครงการรณรงค์เพื่อแรงงานไทย , กลุ่มสหภาพแรงงานย่านรังสิตและใกล้เคียง และเครือข่ายสหภาพแรงงานระหว่างประเทศ ประจำประเทศไทย (UNI-TLC) ได้จัดเวทีกลุ่มศึกษาเพื่อแลกเปลี่ยนเกี่ยวกับความสำคัญและความจำเป็นของการให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ของรัฐบาลไทย และแนวทางในการเคลื่อนไหวอย่างต่อเนื่องเพื่อกดดันให้รัฐบาลไทยให้สัตยาบันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 โดยข้อสรุปของเวทีดังกล่าวดังนี้
เริ่มด้วยการให้ความรู้พื้นฐานเกี่ยวกับอนุสัญญาทั้งสองฉบับแก่ผู้เข้าร่วมในกลุ่มศึกษา รวมทั้งสรุปสถานการณ์การเคลื่อนไหวและรณรงค์ที่ผ่านมาโดยคุณชาลี ลอยสูง ผู้ประสานงานคณะทำงานผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 จากนั้นเป็นการแลกเปลี่ยนของผู้เข้าร่วมกลุ่มศึกษา ซึ่งมีข้อเสนอต่างๆ เช่น
- เสนอให้มีการลงพื้นที่ให้ความรู้ความเข้าใจและความจำเป็นของอนุสัญญาทั้งสองฉบับในพื้นที่ต่างๆ
- มีข้อสรุปร่วมกันว่าอนุสัญญาทั้งสองฉบับเป็นเครื่องมือที่มีความจำเป็นในการให้อิสระแก่การรวมตัวของคนงาน
- เสนอให้ผู้นำสหภาพแรงงานลงพื้นที่เพื่อสร้างฐานมวลชนพร้อมเคลื่อนไหวภายในพื้นที่และองค์กรของตนเอง
โดยล่าสุดทราบมาว่า ITUC มีแนวโน้วที่จะจัดเวทีระดมพลครั้งใหญ่ เพื่อรับฟังความเห็นต่อการรณรงค์ผลักดันอนุสัญญา ILO ฉบับที่ 87 และ 98 ในเดือนกันยายน 2553 ซึ่งจะติดตามและแจ้งเชิญสหภาพแรงงานทั่วประเทศเข้าร่วมเวทีดังกล่าวต่อไป