Labour migration

Viet Nam recommends digital initiatives to promote decent work for migrant workers

The 11th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour with the theme “Digitalization to Promote Decent Work for Migrant Workers in ASEAN” will focus on how leveraging digitalization can protect the rights of workers through increased transparency in migration management.

News | 10 October 2018
©ILO/Suzette Mitchelle
HANOI (ILO News) – Digital technologies play an important role in enhancing migrant workers’ ability to access services and increase transparency of data among different stakeholders and related parties, Vice Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep has said.

This will be a key recommendation by the Vietnamese delegation to the 11th ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour to be organized on 29-30 October in Singapore.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), Viet Nam currently has about 540,000 migrant workers currently overseas. There is also an increased number of migrant workersgo abroad through informal channels annually, representing a significant demand for private recruitment agencies.

In that context, online platforms can allow workers to provide feedback and assessment of recruitment agencies, identify issues and potential risks. Viet Nam recommends that cost for usage of such online platforms and other digital services should not be borne by workers themselves.

Reliable information about how to migrate safely is generally unavailable to Vietnamese migrant workers with only one in three (34 percent) receiving information to support informed decision-making before going abroad.

This was one of the key findings in a recently-published survey of more than 1,800 return migrant workers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam jointly conducted by ILO’s TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme and an International Organization for Migration project.

Therefore, the Vietnamese delegation to the regional forum will also call on governments and all stakeholders to capitalize on the benefits that technology can bring to support workers in making informed decisions.

Particularly, Viet Nam recommends increasing access to a user-friendly online database for workers, especially the low-skilled, to obtain public and transparent information on contract and working conditions, expenses, salaries and other benefits provided by recruiting businesses.

In Viet Nam, MoLISA started appraising application to register labour supply contracts online at in January 2017. The Ministry also issued Circular 35/2017/TT-BLDTBXH on management, operation and utilization of the database of contract-based Vietnamese migrant workers, requiring all agencies to register labour supply contracts in the system.

The ILO supports Viet Nam to promote safe labour migration through the TRIANGLE in ASEAN programme with funding from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Global Affairs Canada. The programme’s overall goal is to maximize the contribution of labour migration to equitable, inclusive and stable growth in the ASEAN region.

Also within the programme’s assistance framework, the national preparatory meeting for the ASEAN Forum on Migrant Labour was organized in Hanoi last 10 September.