Officials to Crack Down on Illegal Workers in Laos

Foreign Workers in Laos

As part of government efforts to strictly monitor foreign nationals working in the country, the labour and security sectors are set up to register and issue temporary work permits to foreign workers.

The issue of migrants entering the country to work illegally  is a continuing and controversial problem in Laos.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare reported that approximately 24,000 foreign workers were registered over the last year, the majority of them being Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai nationals.

The report was disclosed at a meeting held earlier in the week on the assessment and insight from the previous registration and issuing of temporary work permits to foreign workers.

A total of 24,372 foreign workers have been issued temporary work permits nationwide.

Foreign workers are broken down into two sectors for registration purposes.

Those that fall under the first sector, which consists of vendors or people who operate a business in compliance with set regulations as well as those who work in the business and service sectors, on investment projects, or in special and specific economic zones, are eligible for six-month and one-year statuses.

Those who fall under the second sector, which is allocated to itinerant vendors, people engaged in the breeding of livestock, and those who operate beauty salons, coffee shops, karaoke bars and game shops or those business owners not yet operating with the necessary licence, is eligible for three month status.

An initial timeframe was set for mid-December 2015 to mid-March 2016 by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare along with the Ministry of Public Security, however the project has only just completed at the end of September,  2016.

Authorities from both sectors will continue to inspect foreign workers after their work permits have expired.

Additionally, training for officials in both sectors will be given to increase their efficiency in the candid enforcement of the law.

Officials aim to regulate the multiplying number of undocumented workers in Laos while simultaneously generating more revenue for the state budget.

As the development of Laos proceeds, the country requires workers, especially foreign workers for current railway and power projects.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare recently reported that a target to introduce 658,000 labourers by 2020 has been set  to meet the constant growing demand for labour in Laos.

Strict enforcement of the labor law set forth, will allow foreign nationals to work in Laos legally while also assisting them to adhere to other employment regulations.