Complaint mechanisms for Vietnamese migrant workers: An overview of law and practice

This report presents the results of a study initiated under the ILO GMS TRIANGLE project which considered both the laws governing migrant worker complaints and the practical experiences of migrant workers and authorities in navigating the complaints system.

This report provides important context regarding the challenges that may arise during the complaint making process, prompting consideration of the policy and legislative measures that may increases migrant workers' access to justice.

The report finds that while there is a legislative framework that facilitates complaints, gaps in coverage contribute to a lack of clarity for both workers and authorities. The documented practical experiences of workers and authorities indicate that uncertainty or a lack of information leave many migrant workers feeling unsupported or unsure of how to lodge or progress a complaint, with many reports of unresolved complaints or unsatisfactory outcomes. This in turn can have an adverse impact on government policies designed to promote economic development and overseas deployment targets.

The report finds that recent legislative developments and enhancements to internal government processes can be harnessed, through responsible implementation, to drive positive advancements and address challenges in respect of complaint mechanisms. The report makes a series of recommendations designed to promote practical improvements to the complaints process; through legislative reform and effective implementation of laws, conducting training and developing guidance material to increase awareness of complaints procedures, and conducting further research to better capture complaints’ data.