Around 70 Undocumented Myanmar Migrants Detained in Thailand

By The Irrawaddy 11 February 2022

Around 70 undocumented workers from Myanmar were detained in the Thai border town of Mae Sot on Tuesday and Wednesday.

About 50 women were detained in Mae Pae village near Mae Sot on Wednesday after allegedly illegally crossing the border into Thailand, paying 25,000 baht (1.4 million kyats) to agents.

Approximately 18 undocumented migrants were also detained in surprise checks on garment factories in Mae Tao on Tuesday.

Other undocumented workers in the area managed to escape.

Women from Myanmar illegally staying in Mae Pae village were detained on Feb. 9. / MGR Online

Ma Thuzar from Yaung Chi Oo, a labor rights organization in Mae Sot, said: “Three or four factories were inspected in Mae Tao on Tuesday. About 18 workers were detained from a factory and four of them were children.”

They are being detained in Mae Sot and the employer will be charged for hiring illegal workers, she said. The employer was asked to pay the fines to secure his employees’ release.

“I heard the employer negotiated with the authorities. I don’t know what penalty he will face. I heard he will have to pay 5,000 baht per employee and 15,000 baht for each child,” said Ma Thuzar.

Surprise checks are common in Mae Sot, especially around the beginning and end of each year. Some workers were detained because they had failed to renew their documents, said labor rights activists.

Since the coup last year, hundreds of migrants are crossing the border daily into Mae Sot to seek asylum or find jobs and there are arrests made every day, according to labor organizations.

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