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Children under the age of 15 are not supposed to work

Phuket Bar Raids Coming in Underage Crackdown

Saturday, April 23, 2011
SECRET RAIDS will be carried out at night soon in Phuket bars, restaurants, spas, massages parlors and coffee clubs in a search for underage workers, a meeting heard yesterday.

The chief of the Phuket Provincial Office of Labor Protection and Welfare, Kittipong Laonipon, undertook to make the raids with police following the urging of Vice Governor Niwit Aroonrat.

Chief Kittipong acknowledged that the department had checked restaurants and stores in daylight for child workers, but had never coordinated night-time raids. Children under 18 are not permitted to work after dark.

''I can tell you there are many underage workers in garden restaurants around Phuket at night,'' the vice governor said. ''It really is time you mounted some raids to end what's happening on the island once night falls.''

When schools were closed, the number of underage part-time workers increases, and many children under 15, especially Burmese, were said to follow their parents at an early age into the construction business on Phuket, where labor is always in demand.

More research is to be carried out but the raids will come as soon as the department has met with police and perhaps the governor's own small force, Khun Kittipong said.

He added that it was sometimes impossible to make progress without the help of police.

With Phuket bars, he said, a young ''hostess'' might tell a department inspector that she was a customer, but only a police officer could take action over the presence of underage people in bars as customers.

A total of 118,293 people - 61,164 males and 57,036 females - were currently registered for work on Phuket with the Labor office. Ninety-three people between the age of 15 and 18 are also registered.

The chief executive of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Office, Paiboon Upatising, suggested that when people registered for work, they should also be given the opportunity to register as Phuket citizens.

Because only about half the Thais who live and work on Phuket are registered as Phuket citizens, Phuket's budget allocation from the national government is based on a false figure of about 320,000 registered citizens.

The addition of an extra 10 percent or 20 percent would make a huge difference to the income that provides for Phuket's infrastructure.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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"The addition of an extra 10 percent or 20 percent would make a huge difference to the income that provides for Phuket's infrastructure."

Another way would be to stop government officers pocketing government money.

Posted by Mike Boyd on April 23, 2011 14:21

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Do not forget the very young girls selling flowers around Patong Bars late at night. Some of them are not even Thai.

Posted by Phuket Kop on April 23, 2011 15:14

Editor Comment:

The laws are for everyone, Phuket Kop.

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how u can write: secret raids...and then you say everything...what a joke...

Posted by mike on April 23, 2011 17:33

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thanks for warning everyone.

Posted by john s on April 23, 2011 17:57

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SECRET raids or not so now.

Posted by Scunner on April 23, 2011 18:18

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I always thought only the Thais that didn't get sarcasm but seems I'm proven wrong.

Posted by Chris on April 23, 2011 21:41

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Didn't you read the first paragraph. There was a meeting about it. So it was probably pinned up on the local notice boards.

Also since many Police own these restaurants or are "good friends" with the people who run them, I am sure no one is working illegally at night for the next month.

Posted by Tbs on April 23, 2011 22:25

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From Phuket Kop's comment and the ED - Do the Police ignore all the children working in Patong/Rawai/Chalong/Kata/Karon/Phuket City/ because they think its cute?

Or have they never seem them working at night? Even if they worked in the day, isn't it illegal for a 6 year old to work?

Posted by Tbs on April 23, 2011 22:27

Editor Comment:

Children under 15 are not permitted to work, day or night. You'd need to talk to police to determine their attitude.

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Nothing like a well publicised 'secret' crackdown as an effective way to catch those employers !!

Posted by LivinLOS on April 24, 2011 09:15

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Raid? What for? Send a policeman down to Chalong Pier Road at night and you'll see more than just a few children working selling flowers while their parents hide in the shadows. It won't take an undercover cop to put a stop to it, just a cop whose willing to do his job.

Posted by Graham on April 24, 2011 14:10


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