Thailand arrests 1,000 migrant workers including 400 Cambodians

Thai authorities arrested about 1,000 construction workers in the central province of Ayutthaya, at least 400 of whom are undocumented Cambodians, for working illegally, Radio Free Asia has learned.
Sources told RFA that some of the workers were released after their employers promised to arrange legal documents for them. 
Hundreds were still waiting for their release as of Wednesday evening, said Leung Sophon, a labor relations and human rights project officer at the Phnom Penh-based Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights, or CENTRAL. 
They hope that their employers can arrange work permits for them as well.
“All the workers have different bosses,” Leung Sophon told RFA Khmer. “Some have been assured by their employers that they will be able to return to work, as they have promised the Thai police that they would provide them with legal documents or visas, but most of them did not have valid papers at the time of their arrest.”
He said that some of the detained workers would need to spend the night at the police station and would have to wait until Thursday to see if their employers would come and help them or not.
Many of the Cambodian workers entered Thailand without passports, Leung Sophon said, adding that besides the Cambodians, authorities also arrested workers from Vietnam and Myanmar.
Chanra, who was among the arrested Cambodian workers, told RFA that Thai authorities might deport her. 
“I already got my ticket and Thai authorities are sending us to another place,” she said. “I do not know exactly where to go, but I heard that Thai Police will send us back to Cambodia, but I do not know yet. I received food just now.”
RFA attempted to contact the Cambodian Embassy in Bangkok, the spokesperson and the director of the Thai immigration police but received no response.
Translated by Samean Yun. Edited by Eugene Whong and Malcolm Foster.


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