A group of Myanmar workers in Thailand-Myanmar border, near Rangnong port city of Thailand (Source: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – Tens of thousands of foreign workers in Thailand returned home despite the Thai Government suspending a new labour law which was announced on June 23.

As of July 5, 34,069 Myanmar workers in Thailand had returned home, reported the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population of Myanmar.

The ministry also said that the two countries’ governments have held talks to grant legal documents for the workers. About one million illegal and four million legal Myanmar workers were in Thailand, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Ith Samheng, Cambodian Minister of Labour and Vocational Training announced that about 4,000 labourers had returned from Thailand since June 23 over fears of being arrested under the new labour law. There were approximately 1.05 million Cambodian workers in Thailand, including 300,000 without work permits.

As Thailand delayed enforcement of the new law for 180 days, Cambodia will launch a 100-day campaign to issue passports for all illegal Cambodian workers in Thailand, the Cambodian official said.

[Fleeing workers force Thailand to reconsider new labour rules]

The National Council for Peace and Order of Thailand on July 5 instructed the Labour Ministry to review the new labour law which has forced foreign workers to flee, affecting Thailand’s economy.

Aiming to suppress human trafficking and tighten foreign worker management, the new labour law in Thailand led to more than 60,000 foreign labourers returning home. The law said that who hire illegal foreign workers will receive a fine up to 23,557 USD, while illegal workers could face a 3,000 USD fine and five years in jail.-VNA