Employment & Labour Law

Labour Officials mull Foreign Worker Regulations

Date: 07 January 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Vientiane Times

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and other government bodies yesterday held a brainstorming session on the draft of a labour regulation that addresses the issue of foreign workers in Laos who don’t have legal documentation.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Dr Khampheng Saysompheng, Deputy Minister of Public Security, Major General Sinthavong Xayakone, and senior officials and personnel from various provinces.

At present, over 42,000 foreign workers have registered in Laos, mainly from Vietnam, China and Thailand, and about 23,000 have given proof of their nationality.

The meeting was held to encourage the authorities involved to share their ideas on the content of the regulation so that it would be as comprehensive as possible.

The meeting heard that authorities would continue to register foreign workers, issuing them with temporary work permits as had been done last year.

Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Mr Bounkhong Lasoukanh reviewed the implementation of Prime Ministerial Order 62 on worker registration, including proof of nationality.

The government opened centres last year in provincial Labour and Social Welfare offices across the country whose staff issued temporary work permits to undocumented foreign workers.

Labour authorities instructed every provincial authority to register foreign workers in accordance with Lao law but this has not happened.

Mr Bounkhong said authorities would continue to register foreigners and issue them with temporary work permits in a bid to regulate the increasing number of undocumented migrant workers in Laos.

“Meanwhile, new measures are being implemented to collect information and identify the number of foreigners working illegally so authorities can then assign resources to best regulate the situation and avoid the problems experienced in the past,” he added.

He noted that although the migration of workers is unavoidable in today’s world, every country tries to control immigration in line with their respective laws.

Laos began registering migrant workers in 2012 to ensure social order and protect workers’ rights in anticipation of the Asean Economic Community coming into being.

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