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  1. #1
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
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    Work-study courses overseas halted over alleged abuse

    This government-sponsored programme bringing South Korean teachers to Thailand for five months seems to have been a success. That appears not to be the case with a group of Thai students on a work-study programme in South Korea, however.
    Thai mechanical engineering students ended up working on dairy farms for long hours, work irrevelvant to their future careers.

    Educational institutions nationwide have been ordered to suspend programmes that send Thai students to work abroad after eight college students sought help from Korean authorities, claiming they were exploited by their Korean employer.

    Employment Department director-general Varanon Peetiwan told schools, colleges and universities across the country Thursday not to send students overseas under work and study programmes until a solution to the exploitation problem is reached.

    He was speaking after a meeting at the Labour Ministry on the issue with relevant agencies including the Office of the Civil Service Commission, the Foreign Ministry, the Office of the Attorney-General and the Child and Youth Department.

    Labour Minister Gen Sirichai Distakul has voiced his concerns over the problem, Mr Varanon said.

    The move comes after eight students aged between 16-22, from the Chiang Rai Agriculture and Technology College, sought help from Korean authorities after being sent to Korea on a training programme.

    The students -- five men and three women -- claimed the Korean company boss they worked for forced them to work long hours from 7am-7.30pm each day.

    Also, they said their work was not relevant to their training or study since they were told to work on dairy farms when they should have been engaged in work related to mechanical engineering. After finishing work on one farm, the employer would send them to another, they claimed.

    The students also claimed one of the female students was sexually harassed by the company boss.

    Mr Varanon said although the college signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the training programme with the Korean company, the department had no information about any welfare or benefits the Thai students could expect under it.

    According to the Labour Ministry about 16,000 Thai students have gone overseas so far this year on these programmes.

    The training periods vary from three to four months up to one year.

    Mr Veranon said the meeting aimed to initiate measures or laws to better protect Thai students' rights when they enrol in such programmes.

    A number of Thai students on similar programmes have reportedly faced problems relating to payment and welfare. In some cases, their parents also lost contact with their children.

    Moreover, many students have been lured into doing work not matching conditions set out in contracts while some were also left stranded overseas by agencies overseeing their programme.

    Mr Varanon said proper measures must be implemented as the department does not want Thai students on work-study programmes encountering problems overseas.

    According to a source at the department, several leading Thai universities have halted overseas training programmes as many students had endured similar troubles previously.

    The source said these programmes were also criticised by several employment agencies, which called them no different to exporting Thais as cheap labour.

    Work-study courses overseas halted over alleged abuse | Bangkok Post: learning

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    chassamui's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang
    Mr Varanon said proper measures must be implemented as the department does not want Thai students on work-study programmes encountering problems overseas.
    The Korean hosts startled the brainwashed Thai who had previously believed that Thailand was the cultural and geopolitical centre of the world.

    Some face was lost and some Thai cried.

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