Vietnam Works to Prevent Human Trafficking, Protect Migrant Workers

IOM accompanies the Government of Vietnam in its fight against human trafficking and protect health needs of migrant workers.

At the signing ceremony in Hanoi. Photo: VNA

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Vietnam in collaboration with the four key ministries - Ministry of Labour - Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), Ministry of Public Security (MPS), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), and Ministry of National Defence (MOND) to fight against human trafficking, VNA reported.

Speaking at the signing ceremony of the Inter-ministerial Coordination Regulation on Victim receipt, protection, and support on July 18, Park Mihyung, Chief of Mission, IOM Vietnam congratulated Vietnam's strong commitment to combating human trafficking and protecting survivors and their families. Human trafficking cuts across sectors and borders and the participation of different ministries and agencies is required to address its complex facets.

The Coordination Regulation signed by the four key ministries - MOLISA, MPS, MOFA and MOND - will strengthen responsibility and coordination across the four pillars of counter-trafficking: prosecution, prevention, protection and partnership.

The Regulation consists of 3 chapters and 15 articles, stipulating principles, form, content and responsibility for coordination among the ministries in receiving work. , protect and support victims of trafficking.

According to the regulations, the parties will jointly organize inter-sectoral delegations to receive, protect and support victims of trafficking, solve unexpected problems, and inspect and inspect the implementation of the legal provisions on the reception, protection and support of the victims.

The four ministries will jointly develop legal documents, schemes, projects, programs and plans related to the reception, protection and support of trafficked persons.

Park Mihyung, Chief of Mission, IOM Vietnam. Photo: VNA

A migrant health handbook, which provides basic information, advice and guidance for the health needs of migrant workers, also was introduced.

Addressing the event, Director General of the General Office for Population and Family Planning (GOPFP) Nguyen Doan Tu said migration is a global phenomenon, with around 281 million international migrants worldwide; 48% of whom were women and 60% were migrant workers.

Vietnam’s population has reached 98 million, ranking 15th globally, eighth in Asia and third in ASEAN, Tu said. The country's working-age population, aged 15 – 64, is estimated at some 66.6 million, or 68% of the total, he noted, adding that though such a large workforce brings various opportunities for Vietnam’s socio-economic development, it has profound impacts on migration flows in the country.

He described migrants as a vulnerable group of people, noting that migrants, particularly international ones, often face numerous challenges in the host destinations when it comes to languages, culture, lifestyle, legal knowledge, family separation and others.

Lack of access to medical services also affects their lives, and physical and mental health, according to Tu. Healthy migrants can be a crucial workforce for the well-being of businesses and the economy as a whole, he said.

The migrant health handbook was initiated by a technical group for migrant health in Vietnam established by the Ministry of Health. It was developed with advice from specialists from the Republic of Korea and Japan with support from the IOM in Vietnam.

The Question & Answer handbook offers fundamental knowledge on Vietnam’s health system; social security and health insurances; as well as advice and guidance on occupational safety; prevention of communicable diseases; reproductive health; mental health; building a healthy lifestyle; support and protection of oversea migrants; and others.

The digital version of the handbook will be released in the coming time and constantly updated to stay relevant with Vietnam’s changing situation.

A similar handbook for Vietnamese migrants living in different foreign countries will also be developed.

The Chief of Mission at IOM Vietnam highly spoke of the country’s efforts in ensuring the well-being of Vietnamese migrants overseas at the time of Covid-19.

IOM has discussed with concerned parties in Japan and the RoK about establishing a platform for cooperation in protecting the health of Vietnamese migrants and feedback has been positive, he stressed.

About 600,000 Vietnamese migrants are living and working in more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. Remittance to Vietnam was estimated at around USD 3 – 4 billion annually.