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Thailand Ramps Up Worker Deployment to Israel: 10,000 Thai Laborers Set to Depart by Year-End

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In a heartfelt scene at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai workers waving goodbye signaled the profound dedication and hope that marked their departure for Israel—an event steeped in resilience following the Hamas attack last October. On Tuesday, the first batch of Thai laborers embarked on their journey, a move orchestrated by the Ministry of Labour, which ambitiously aims to dispatch up to 10,000 workers to Israel by the year’s end.

Labour Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn orchestrated this latest migration of 100 workers, with an additional 540 ready to follow from Wednesday through July 3. This initiative isn’t just about filling positions; it’s a meticulously planned endeavor. Each worker went through extensive training courses to ensure they were not only job-ready but also well-versed in their contracts, working conditions, local customs, cultures, and their legal rights. “Preparation is key,” emphasized Minister Phiphat, underscoring the importance of being well-informed about assistance channels and emergency response protocols, particularly in wartime scenarios.

Prior to the upheaval caused by the Hamas attack on October 7, around 30,000 Thai nationals had been diligently working in Israel, primarily in sectors such as agriculture and construction. The onslaught necessitated the repatriation of almost 9,000 workers in the early chaos of the conflict, with those remaining ensuring they stayed in safer zones away from frontline dangers.

Despite these challenges, Thailand remains undeterred in its goal of sending 10,000 workers to Israel by year’s end, with Phiphat expressing confidence in meeting this target. The majority of these workers hail from regions such as Udon Thani, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Phanom, Buri Ram, and Nakhon Ratchasima—regions known for their rich history and agricultural prowess.

Somchai Morakotsriwan, director-general of the Department of Employment, shed light on the broader context, revealing that during the 2022-23 fiscal year, which concluded on September 30, Thailand had successfully exported 67,208 workers through formal channels, with Israel standing out as one of the top five destinations. Notably, most Thai applicants sought roles in the agricultural sector, followed by positions in hospitality and food services. The average monthly income for these roles ranges between 50,000 to 55,000 baht, offering substantial financial incentives.

“The safety of our workers is of paramount importance,” Somchai asserted. During a diplomatic visit to Israel at the end of May, Minister Phiphat strongly urged the Israeli government to ensure the safety of Thai workers by confining their employment to secure areas and mandating that employers provide robust and safe housing.

Highlighting the urgency and demand, the department has been allocated a quota to send 5,000 agricultural workers to Israel in the latter half of the year. As of mid-June, over 30,000 applications had been submitted, reflecting the substantial interest and economic potential perceived by Thai workers.

In discussions with Israeli officials, Phiphat sought a significant increase in the annual quota for Thai farm workers—from 6,000 to 20,000—and an allowance for up to 25,000 Thai construction workers to be employed in Israel. This bold move underscores Thailand’s unwavering commitment to supporting its workforce while fostering robust international ties.

As Thai workers continue to brave new horizons, their farewells are not just moments of parting but testament to their enduring spirit and the vast potential of international labor cooperation.


  1. Ana Learner June 25, 2024

    Is it really ethical to send workers to a conflict zone? I feel like safety is being overlooked for economic gain.

    • John D June 25, 2024

      Totally agree. The workers might have been trained, but no amount of training keeps you safe from a missile.

      • Sarah K June 25, 2024

        But these are voluntary positions, and the workers clearly see the economic value. Isn’t it their choice to make?

      • Ana Learner June 25, 2024

        Even if it’s voluntary, the government should do more to protect them. It’s a precarious situation, and the responsibility lies with the policymakers.

    • goodvibes99 June 25, 2024

      Israel isn’t just a ‘conflict zone.’ It has robust security measures and offers ample job opportunities.

  2. Jake Richardson June 25, 2024

    I think sending workers to Israel helps both countries economically. But I’m concerned about the potential exploitation of labor. What safeguards are in place?

    • TheRealRussell June 25, 2024

      Good point. Are these workers getting fair wages and living conditions?

      • Danny June 25, 2024

        From what the article says, the wages seem fair—50k to 55k baht per month. But who ensures that?

      • Jake Richardson June 25, 2024

        That’s a decent wage, but without proper oversight, it doesn’t mean much. Hopefully, the Ministry of Labour keeps a close eye on this.

  3. Emily Tran June 25, 2024

    This initiative could be seen as a strategic move for Thailand to increase its workforce’s international experience. It’s a risk, but one that could pay off in the long run.

  4. AgrarianTom June 25, 2024

    Interesting that the farming community is stepping up. Agriculture isn’t easy work anywhere, but it’s rewarding.

  5. Katarina W June 25, 2024

    Can we talk about the mental health impact on these workers? Going to a place with conflict must be incredibly stressful.

    • Mindful_Mike June 25, 2024

      Very true. I hope they have access to counseling and mental health services. Stress and anxiety can seriously affect their performance and well-being.

      • Katarina W June 25, 2024

        Absolutely. Mental health can no longer be an afterthought, especially in such high-stress roles.

  6. Nathan Perseus June 25, 2024

    This is great for boosting Thailand’s economy. These workers will come back with enhanced skills and experiences that will benefit local industries.

  7. ThinkerJer June 25, 2024

    I hope this initiative includes clauses for the workers’ safety in case the conflict escalates again.

  8. Patrick Johnson June 25, 2024

    While the financial incentives are substantial, the safety concerns shouldn’t be brushed aside so easily.

    • Catherine June 25, 2024

      It’s clear that Minister Phiphat is aware of the risks and is trying to ensure secure working conditions. But how effective can these measures really be in a volatile area?

      • Patrick Johnson June 25, 2024

        Exactly. Plans are great, but execution in real-world scenarios is another story.

  9. GreenThumb June 25, 2024

    Thailand sending workers to Israel is just the beginning. Imagine if more countries followed suit; it could totally reshape global labor markets.

    • blue_sunset June 25, 2024

      True, but that could also lead to a ‘brain drain’ in developing countries, where much-needed talent migrates overseas.

    • GreenThumb June 25, 2024

      That’s a fair concern, but managed properly, it could lead to better opportunities back home due to the skills and experience gained.

  10. Construction Worker June 25, 2024

    I work in the construction sector, and while moving abroad sounds lucrative, it’s not as easy as it seems. The stress, the cultural differences—it all adds up.

  11. Jenny June 25, 2024

    The demand is clearly there, 30,000 applications is huge. But are there enough resources to adequately prepare all these workers?

    • Rebecca Shaw June 25, 2024

      That’s a valid question. The number is overwhelming, but the training and preparation as described seem extensive. Let’s hope it’s enough.

      • Jenny June 25, 2024

        Exactly, the quality of training is crucial for their safety and well-being.

  12. TravelerTom June 25, 2024

    Israel offers opportunities that workers might not find back home. It’s a personal and economic choice.

  13. LilF June 25, 2024

    Are Thai workers aware of the local customs and cultures in Israel? Adapting to a new environment can be tough.

    • Jasmine Liu June 25, 2024

      According to the article, they went through training for local customs and cultures. That’s a good step towards easing the transition.

  14. RealisticRay June 25, 2024

    It’s easy to criticize from the comfort of our homes, but for many of these workers, it’s about providing for their families. The risks might be worth the rewards.

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