Malaysian and Vietnamese trade unions to collaborate on protecting migrant workers’ rights

The Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and the Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) have developed a Joint Plan of Action on increasing protection of Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia.

News | 20 February 2018

KUALA LUMPUR (ILO News) - Malaysian and Vietnamese trade unions jointly developed an action plan to increase protections for Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia.

The Joint Plan of Action was finalized during a meeting between MTUC and VGCL on 6 - 10 February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur. During the meeting, issues facing Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia were discussed including how to access trade union membership and support.

The Joint MTUC and VGCL Plan of Action aims to increase the protection of Vietnamese migrant workers in Malaysia and outlines the steps the two parties are committing to in order to achieve this purpose. This include disseminating targeted information to Vietnamese migrant workers before they depart their home country, as well as during employment in Malaysia. Information will be disseminated in collaboration with recruitment agencies, migrant workers resource centres, mass media, and other stakeholders. MTUC also commits to provide targeted support services, including access to legal support, to Vietnamese migrant workers through its three migrant resource centers.

The Joint Plan of Action is the result of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoU) between MTUC and VGCL which was signed on 16 March 2015. The MoU covers a range of issues such as the establishment of an official bi-lateral co-operation and awareness-raising activities on labour migration. It also includes references to engaging in dialogue on promoting the ratification of relevant ILO conventions, raising concerns of migrant workers to the authorities and policy-makers, and addressing occupational safety and health issues, particularly in hazardous sectors. The MOU and the Joint Plan of Action was developed with the support of ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme.

There are approximately 520,000 Vietnamese migrant workers currently overseas; most are young men and women from rural areas who obtain low-skilled employment in manufacturing, construction, fishing, agriculture, domestic work, and other service industries. Malaysia is one of the top five destination countries for Vietnamese migrant workers.