Cambodia's minister of foreign affairs yesterday urged the Thai government to extend the registration window for undocumented migrant workers, with more than 100,000 Cambodians facing deportation following the expiration of Tuesday’s deadline.
In a statement, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong said he had advised Cambodia’s ambassador to Thailand to urgently contact the Thai Labour and Foreign ministries to push for an extension until the end of the year.
Namhong said the extra time was needed to organise passports and permits for “tens of thousands” of undocumented Cambodian workers in Thailand.
According to recent Thai government figures, of 738,974 migrants registered last year, just 173,466 have the correct documents. As of June 22, a further 391,628 had reapplied for a work permit, allowing them to stay for another year.
However, some 130,000 appear to have missed out.
Thai officials earlier this week hinted that a crackdown could follow the deadline’s passing.
Yesterday afternoon, Thai officials met with foreign worker management but the Thai government could not be reached.