Vietnam Should Reinforce Its Migrant Labour Securities: World Bank Report

October 17, 201710:24 am720 views

Recent report released by World Bank suggested that countries which sends large number of workers abroad should enhance and strengthen their protection system while lowering the barriers to their mobility. Given the rapid growth of labour migration across countries in ASEAN region, Vietnam which gains its 7 percent of GDP from remittances should follow the strategy to protect their migrants overseas.

The report, entitled as “Migrating to Opportunity” underlines the significance contribution of migrant workers to the region as a whole. Seeing from financial terms, ASEAN countries received a total of US$62 billion in remittances in 2015. The report also presents the challenges faced by ASEAN migrant workers, while focusing on barriers to their mobility. As a conclusion, the report suggests that removing barriers for skilled workers and shrinking complications for all workers would increase ASEAN worker welfare by 14 and 12 percent respectively.

For the last two decades, ASEAN has seen a rising labour migration between 1995 and 2015, with Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand become the regional migration hubs. The significant wage and salary differences among ASEAN countries create opportunities for workers to earn more money when they are willing to cross the borders. Migration usually upsurges the salaries in receiving countries, which benefits both migrant workers and local ones.

However, the bigger catch is that migrant workers are often vulnerable, since the policies across the region can only do little to address their needs. UN data found that majority (80 percent) of intra-ASEAN migrants are low-skilled workers, and many of them do not have legal documents or permission to enter the country. The data also revealed that construction, plantation, and domestic services are the sectors that receive most of migrant workers, Vietnam News reports.

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Meanwhile, current obstacles facing migrant workers ranging from lack of protection for them, high recruitment costs at recruitment centers, costly and lengthy migration procedures, as well as migration quotas and domestic employment policies that prevent workers from easily moving from one job to another.

Given that migrant workers often find themselves under control by recruitment agencies that promise to find them jobs abroad, Vietnam government need to come with better regulation of labour export companies to protect the rights of workers. Additionally, World Bank report also recommends the country to consider a national migration strategy that will guide reforms.

At the same time, receiving countries should tightly manage their migration system and quickly respond to labour market demand, while guaranteeing that local worker’s wages and working conditions are not changed as a result of a big wave of incoming migrants.

Released at a press conference in Singapore on Tuesday (Oct 10), “Migrating to Opportunity” was delivered by World Bank Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific Sudhir Shetty and Mauro Testaverde, lead author and economist for the World Bank’s Global Practice for Social Protection and Jobs. The presentation was telecasted at regional World Bank country offices.

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