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Issuance of new work visas for Thai berry pickers in Finland paused

Written by World Events

The Finnish Embassy in Bangkok has temporarily suspended the issuance of new visas to Thais who want to work as berry pickers in Finland, pending the adjustment of regulations to ensure fair treatment for foreign pickers.

Somchai Morakotsriwan, director-general of the Department of Employment, said that the visa suspension is to allow representatives from Thailand and Finland to develop measures to ensure better employment protection for the workers.

Applications for visas for other purposes are still being accepted, he added.

As a matter of principle, Somchai said that employers who agreed to take Thai nationals to work in Finland must be responsible for all the expenses incurred in getting them to Finland, adding that the amended regulations will ensure transparency and protect the workers from abuse by employers.

In the long-term, Somchai said that Thai workers going toFinland should be arranged on government-to-government basis, so workers can be better protected and abusive employers penalised.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been informed of the visa issuance suspension and has instructed the Thai Foreign Ministry to assist, because he does not want this issue to impact the ongoing talks on pre-travel visa exemption between the two countries, said Somchai.


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