10 March 2021
Migrant workers urging Thai government
To ensure migrant insured persons have access to “Section 33, We Love Each Other” handouts
Today (10 March 2021), the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) has submitted to the Thai government a letter together with complaints from the migrant workers who are insured persons pursuant to Section 33 of the Social Security Act 1990 calling for the rescinding of the Thai nationality requirement which makes migrant workers ineligible for the “Section 33, We Love Each Other” cash relief program. This will ensure migrant workers who are insured persons have access to the handouts from the project, similar to their Thai counterparts.
A proposal has been made by the Ministry of Labour to approve the “Section 33, We Love Each Other” program to offer cash relief and address the costs of living and other impacts on insured persons per Section 33 in the wake of the new surge of Covid-19 pandemic. According to this project, budget will be set aside from the existing action plans or projects aimed to offer support, remedy and relief to the public in pursuance to the Executive Decree to empower the Thai government to secure loans to address the problems and ensure economic and social recovery in the wake of grave impacts from the Covid-19 pandemic B.E. 2563. Under Action Plant or Project 2, there is a combined budget of 31.7 billion baht to hand out to insured persons per Section 33, about 9.7 million of them and each of them will receive 4,000 baht. The insured persons have been allowed to register for help via www.ม33เรารักกัน.com from 21 February until 7 March 2021. The project, however, requires that an insured persons per Section 33 who is eligible for such handouts must have Thai nationality. As a result, foreign workers in Thailand who are insured persons per Section 33 are automatically disqualified from such relief program.
HRDF has already submitted a letter on 10 March 2021 signed by migrant workers from Myanmar to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of the Cabinet, the Minister of Labor, and the Minister of Finance demanding the rescinding of such requirement since millions of migrant workers who are insured persons and playing important role in the Thai economy. They have also been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic similar to their Thai counterparts, or even worse. By disqualifying them claiming their lack of Thai nationality, this is tantamount to a violation of international laws including the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) and the Constitution of the Kingdom of Thailand B.E. 2560’s Section 4/1 which prescribes that “Human dignity, rights, liberties and equality of the people shall be protected” and Section 27/3 which prescribes that “Unjust discrimination against a person on the grounds of differences in origin, race, language, sex, age, disability, physical or health condition, personal status, economic and social standing, religious belief, education, or political view which is not contrary to the provisions of the Constitution, or on any other grounds shall not be permitted.”
The Thai government is therefore urged to quash the requirement that disqualifies migrant workers from such handouts.
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) is a nonprofit and nongovernmental organization working to protect and promote human rights as well as labor rights of Thai and migrant workers. The proposed disqualification of insured persons who are migrant workers making them ineligible to the “Section 33, We Love Each Other” project has prompted HRDF to offer them legal assistance to ensure they are entitled to the same rights as other insured persons.
For more information, please contact Pasuta Chuenkhachorn, Coordinator of the Migrant Justice Programme (MJP),
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF), phone 0815957578, email: firstname.lastname@example.org