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Labor Officials in Thailand Mull the Possibility of Revising Foreign Occupational Restrictions

In this video today, we're going to be talking about labor, the issue of work authorization here in the Kingdom of Thailand and work permits. In a recent article from the Bangkok Post, it was published July 19, 2017. The headline is “List of jobs reserved for Thais to be revised.” And I’m quoting directly from the article here, “Director-general Warenon Pitiwan said on Wednesday the list had not been updated for a long time but the circumstances of Thai society had changed. The list included bricklaying which proved not to interest Thai workers any longer, he said.

What we’re talking about here is the so called list of restricted professions or restricted labor activities here in the Kingdom of Thailand. The Thai legal system provides certain, how do we say, protections for Thai labor within the Kingdom. So certain jobs are restricted to foreigners and to just read the 1979 list which is still in effect, the first one is just generally labor work, second one agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry, fishery; three - bricklaying, carpentry, other construction work, wood carving, driving a motor vehicle, driving non mechanically propelled carrier, basically acting as a driver in any way, shop outlet attendant, auction supervising, auditing or providing services and things like accounting except internal auditing on occasion, cutting and polishing diamonds or precious stone, tear cutting cloth leading etc. I'm not going to read the whole list.

Basically, this is a very good time to discuss actually the issue of labor restrictions here in Thailand and the probable revisions that are probably going to be made under this current government or under the next government remains to be seen. But I would like to just take a minute to point out. I don't think that if there are those out there who are thinking that these revisions are going to be made to the betterment of nationals, let me say, to the benefit of nationals from say the Anglo-sphere, the Western Europe etc, I don't think that's going to particularly be the case. I think what's probably going to happen with respect to these revisions in certain manual labor category jobs are going to be opened up because as has been discussed in another video, currently authorities here in the Kingdom of Thailand are working with authorities trans-nationally in countries like Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar with respect to basically overhauling the entire migrant labor certification here in Thailand.

So there's a lot of migrant labor here in Thailand, most notably a lot of migrant labor from again Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Especially Myanmar a fairly significant number of Burmese come to Thailand in order to work and as it's been noted in previous postings on this channel, Thailand's decision to go ahead and overhaul and change certain laws and penalties associated with illegal labor here in Thailand has caused quite a stir, for lack of a better term. And moreover, the Thai government has started working with governments especially with Myanmar at the moment to go ahead and figure out a way to best deal with this issue, get those folks certified, get those folks registered. But also, it looks like Thailand's also going to take this step of going ahead and at least the Labor Ministry revising that 1979 list so that sort of these working activities that these migrant workers are engaged in can be done legally here in Thailand.

So again, I don't think this is going to really pertain very much to the sort of more skilled professions or the sort of, for lack of a better term, like intellectual property type affiliated jobs. I think what we're looking at here is strictly speaking manual labor.