February 24, 2010

From the Tiger to the Crocodile

Abuse of Migrant Workers in Thailand

Summary
Key Recommendations
Maps
Northern Thailand
Ubon Ratchathani
Rayong and Eastern Seaboard
Southern Thailand
Bangkok and Surrounding Areas
Mae Sot and Myawaddy
Mae Sot Border Checkpoints
Methodology
I. Failures of Thai Migration Policy
Labor Migration to Thailand
Regulatory Gaps and Failures
Migrants Rights under International Law..
II. Provincial Decrees—Controls on Migrant Workers
Restrictions on Freedom of Association and Assembly
Restrictions on Freedom of Expression
Restrictions on Freedom of Movement
III. Human Rights Abuses against Migrants
Killings, Torture, and Physical Abuses against Migrants
Killings by Security Forces
Torture and Ill-Treatment by Thai Authorities
Police Abuses: An Insider’s Account
Failure to Investigate Crimes against Migrants
IV. Forced Labor and Human Trafficking
V. Extortion of Migrants by Local Authorities
Systems of Extortion by Police and Local Officials
Roadside Arrest and Extortion
At Police Stations
Police Protection Rackets and Payments
Extortion by Police Impersonators
Extortion During Deportations at the Thai-Burma Border
VI. Rights Violations in the Migration Registration System
Mistreatment of Migrants by Employers, Brokers, and Authorities in the Migrant Worker Registration System
VII. Labor Rights Abuses
No Freedom to Organize and Collectively Bargain
Intimidation and False Allegations against Workers
Retaliation against Workers Filing Labor Complaints
Labor Exploitation
Seizure of Migrant Worker Documents
VIII. Impunity for Abuses against Migrants
IX. Recommendations
Appendix I: Questionnaire
Appendix II: Letter to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva from Human Rights Watch
Acknowledgements