Vientiane labour authorities have opened centres to register the foreign workforce in the capital, aiming to issue temporary work permits for those who are currently working illegally.
The centres opened on September 1 and will operate until the end of November at Department of Labour and Social Welfare offices in all nine districts of the capital in an attempt to regulate the increasing number of undocumented migrant workers, the labour authority said.
Foreign workers who cannot register before the deadline can apply to authorities for an extension.
This year, there are an estimated 2,000 illegal workers out of 5,000 foreign workers in the capital, mainly from Vietnam, China and Thailand.
D irector of the Department of Vientiane Labour and Social Welfare, Ms Lamphoy Si-akkhachanh, spoke about the move to register illegal workers in the capital.
She said Vientiane authorities had informed companies of their requirements in registering migrant workers and the companies had in turn provided a list of their foreign employees in line with the regulations.
"The labour authority has instructed every district authority in Vientiane to register foreign workers in accordance with Lao law," she said.
Officials noted that although worker migration was inescapable in today's modern world, every country tried to control immigration in line with their respective laws and regulations.
Ms Lamphoy said the new measures were aimed at collecting information and identifying the number of foreigners working illegally so authorities could then assign resources to best regulate the situation and avoid the complexities of the past.
She called on all relevant sectors and the public to assist in addressing the problem to ensure that foreign workers were registered.
According to the department, 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.
At present, there are an estimated 24,000 illegal workers out of 54,000 foreign workers in the country, mainly from Vietnam, China and Thailand. Last year, over 4,000 foreign workers were registered, including over 1,500 women, with 577 foreign workers upgrading their status.