HANOI (ILO News) – The Viet Nam Association of Manpower Supply (VAMAS) today announced the results of the annual evaluation of migrant worker recruitment agencies, with 43 per cent of the agencies ranked receiving a five star rating.
The annual ranking, the fourth of its kind, evaluates recruitment agencies’ performance against VAMAS’s Code of Conduct for recruitment agencies introduced in 2010. The evaluation of recruitment agencies is carried out with the support of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The Code is a voluntary instrument that aims to improve compliance with Vietnamese legislation and international standards, to promote better business management and to protect migrant workers from exploitative situations, including forced labour and human trafficking.
VAMAS President Nguyen Luong Trao said that “more and more recruitment agencies applying the Code of Conduct have shown progress” in various areas including selection of partners and donors, trainings and supports for migrant workers, and job security for returning workers.
However, violations of the Code committed by agencies in 2016 include a lack of regular reporting, insufficient training, cost charged higher than standard rates and sending migrant workers abroad without permission, he said.
Out of 86 agencies ranked in 2016, 37 were given five stars, 41 four stars and the rest three stars. The ranked agencies sent more than 60 per cent of all migrant workers going abroad through Vietnamese agencies last year.
The number of agencies joining this initiative will increase to 106 next year.
ILO Viet Nam Director Chang-Hee Lee recognized the role of the private sector in “protecting migrant workers from abusive and fraudulent practices during recruitment, reducing migration costs, and enhancing development outcomes of migration”.
“Experience has shown that good recruitment practices lead to positive migration experiences, and these can enable inclusive and sustainable development – for migrants, their families and communities, and Viet Nam,” he said.
Cross-border labour migration from Viet Nam has significantly increased over the last two decades. The country had 278 licensed recruitment agencies in 2016, sending 126,000 migrant workers abroad – a record annual figure.
Most of the world’s approximately 232 million migrants left their countries in search of decent jobs to improve their – and their families’ – livelihood. According to the ILO’s Fair Migration Agenda, while discrimination and labour abuses are unacceptably common among migrant workers, and the costs of migration are high, migration can nevertheless enable human development alongside economic growth.
Nguyen Quang Anh, Senior Trade and Development Manager from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a main donor to the ILO’s regional labour migration programme (TRIANGLE in ASEAN), said that “all migrant workers, regardless of gender, should have equal access to equitable migration and decent work”.
The full rankings could be found here.