BANGKOK, Oct 5 (Bernama) -- Indonesian workers have to pay a year's
salary to use intermediary services to work in Taiwan, and about six
months' salary to move to Malaysia or Singapore, according to the 2009
Human Development Report 2009 launched Monday.
Asian migrants moving to the Gulf often paid 25 to 30 per cent of what they expected to earn over two or three years in recruitment and other fees, the report's lead author, Jeni Klugman said.
She said that under agreements between the governments of Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, recruitment fees were equivalent to four to five months' salary, processing time averaged about four months and 15 per cent of wages were withheld pending the migrant's return home.
"In contrast, smugglers reportedly charge the equivalent of only one month's salary. Given these cost differences, it is not surprising that only 26 per cent of migrant workers in Thailand were registered in 2006," she said.
The report, commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), showed that both internal and international migration involve extensive official documentation, which in turn can inhibit mobility or lead to irregular movement.
While there are large numbers of licensed recruitment agencies, for instance 1,500 in the Philippines and close to 2,000 in India, many are ignoring legal caps on fees charged for their services.
"The difference between wages at home and expected wages abroad is perhaps the most important determinant of the price of intermediary services," the report said.
"People with less skill and who are poorer are more likely to move. But the current economic downturn also showed that there has been decrease in demand for migrant workers," the report says, adding that unequal opportunities were a major driver of movement.
Someone born in Thailand can expect to live seven more years, to have almost three times as many years of education and save eight times as much as someone born in Myanmar, it adds.
In turn, Thai migrants in Hong Kong and Taiwan are paid at least four times as much as they would earn as low-skilled workers at home.
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