This paper focuses on the role of the Thai government since the Foreign Employment Act of 1978, should be explored to explain the Thai government’s decision-making on this issue during a period of political instability and global economic change. The main question focuses on how policy decisions regarding Thailand’s international labor migration are made and how policies are shaped through domestic and international policy action. Using datasets of policy papers, secondary literature, and in-depth interviews with related stakeholders in government agencies.
The results revealed that poor documentation of migrant workers affected the policies chosen. National security was the primary factor, yet in response to economic growth and labor shortages, the government decreased regulations and allowed migrants to work without legal status. Policies stagnated until Thailand collaborated with its neighbors to find solutions through a better understanding of the problem.
Numtip Smerchuar, University of Phayao, Thailand
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