Thailand will start issuing an identification document known as a Certificate of Identity to Myanmar migrant workers on March 3. The CI documents are aimed at showing proof of Myanmar citizenship and, according to an embassy official, will allow workers a greater freedom of movement.
Both Myanmar and Thailand have cooperated on the documentation scheme, said U Aung Ko Thant, an officer at the Myanmar embassy in Thailand.
“We have already announced the document plan…If [the Myanmar workers] have the CI documents, they can travel across Thailand freely,” he said.
Six CI service centers will open in five towns throughout the kingdom – two in Samut Sakhon (Mahachai) and one each in Samut Prakan, Mae Sai, Mae Sot and Ranong. The CI application can be found at the service centers or at 7-Eleven convenient stores in those towns starting on March 1.
According to an earlier statement from the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population, the cost for CI card is 300 baht. Meanwhile, workers who are pink card holders and who can produce both their national identity card and census document can apply for passports through the service centers at a cost of 1050 baht.
“I have heard about this document program. But I do not know much about how it works yet. If it is true as they said that we can travel freely, it will be very convenient for us,” said U Aye Maung, a Myanmar migrant worker in Mae Sot.
Although the Thai and Myanmar governments agreed to start the CI program in November 2016, it was mired in delays and disagreements over the implementation.
According to migrant rights groups, there are an estimated 4 million Myanmar people living and working in Thailand, with about 2 million holding pink cards and temporary passports.
Translated by Aong Jaeneh
Edited By Laignee Barron