Laos accelerates registration process of foreign workers

VIENTIANE (Bernama) – Lao labour officials nationwide must expedite the process of registering illegal foreign workers, Lao Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone said at a meeting held recently.

Officials must register foreign workers and issue them with a temporary work permit for every year they worked in Laos, local daily Vientiane Times yesterday quoted Sonexay as saying.

To date, over 42,000 foreign workers are registered in Laos, mainly from Vietnam, China and Thailand, and about 23,000 have provided proof of nationality, according to Xinhua news agency.

Sonexay made the statement during a meeting held in capital Vientiane on Tuesday, reviewing the problem of undocumented foreign workers in Laos.

According to local laws and regulations, foreign workers should register and provide proof of nationality to local authorities.

Sonexay acknowledged that many foreign workers had been registered and issued with temporary work permits, in an attempt to regulate the increasing number of undocumented migrant workers in the country.

All illegal foreign workers, who mainly come from neighbouring countries, should go to provincial labour and social welfare offices to register under the Labour Law, he said, adding the registration and regulation of foreign workers would help to reduce the number of public complaints on the proliferation of illegal migrant workers in Laos.

“Some Vietnamese workers, in particular, remain unregistered because labour officials did not want to handle their cases out of concern that it might affect the special relationship between the two countries.

“This meant they were reluctant to enforce the law with regard to illegal Vietnamese workers.”