Vietnam discusses measures to protect migrant workers’ rights

Sunday, 2014-08-10 18:12:38
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Nhan Dan/VNA – An audience of domestic and foreign journalists, experts and managers have gathered at a seminar in the central province of Quang Binh to draw-up measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of migrant labourers.

The event is being jointly held by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association (VJA).

ILO representative Nguyen Mai Thuy said Vietnam, along with Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand, are implementing a safe labour export triangle project. The project aims to protect migrant workers both in and originally from Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) member nations from labour exploitation through increased legal assistance and protection measures.

ASEAN member nations are working together to manage migrant workers and protect their rights and legitimate interests through the signing of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA). The MRA currently protects; accountants, engineers, surveyors, architects, nurses, medical staff, dentists and tour guides. The agreement allows these professions to work freely in any member nation of the GMS.

According to ILO, a good integration policy will help Vietnam to improve labour productivity through the migration of skilled labourers, however, the country should also take into consideration the fact that a large number of qualified workers will leave for other countries to find jobs with higher salaries.
Migration should be considered a choice which can help labourers to escape from poverty, experts said, stressing the need to take measures to both promote migration and protect migrant labourers.

Guest workers need to be provided with full and accurate information about policies, fees and their interests as well as ways to protect them, they added.
Data from the General Statistics Office (GSO) in 2013 shows that almost all Vietnamese migrant labourers came from rural areas and are between 15-29 years old. The number of female labourers is on the rise.

According to the End Exploitation and Trafficking organisation, about 1 million forced migrant labourers have been reported in Asia.