Experts discuss generating decent work for female migrant workers

More than 100 experts from Vietnam’s government agencies and international and domestic organisations gathered in Hanoi on March 28 to discuss how to create a better environment for female migrant workers to access decent work.

The seminar, themed “Decent work for Female Migrant Workers – Challenges and Solutions”, was jointly by the Plan International and the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

experts discuss generating decent work for female migrant workers hinh 0
Delegates discuss how to create a better environment for female migrant workers to access decent work (Source:
According to a recent labour market scan survey in Hanoi by the Plan International, the majority of female migrant workers are working in the informal sector with limited access to social protection services, and have not been technically trained by employers. The survey also revealed that around 70 percent of surveyed migrant workers did not have employment contracts, meaning lack of access to work benefits such as social insurance, health insurance, sick leave, and annual leave.

Nguyen Quang Viet, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Vocational Education and Training, said that Vietnam has quite an inclusive legal policy system on labour and employment, including those for migrant workers. 

However, the State’s preferential policies on vocational training and employment often refer to registration books, which is a challenge for migrant workers, he added.

He suggested State management agencies to carry out policies and mechanisms supporting vocational training and introducing jobs for female migrant workers.

“The need for decent jobs, a safe living environment and access to social and protection services at destination is real. Many international commitments support women’s economic empowerment, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and a series of International Labour Organization conventions on gender equality,” said Sharon Kane, Country Director of Plan International.

“Plan International supports women’s economic empowerment in line with these, and our programmes will continue to promote women’s ability to secure decent work, which contributes to advancing economies and sustainable development,” she added.

Meanwhile, Elisa Fernandez, Head of UN Women Vietnam Office, highlighted that discrimination and inequality fuel social instability and income disparities. 

"If efforts to close gender gaps and to promote better employment opportunities for women are not stepped up, current mega trends – such as climate change, demographic trends, migration flows and the technical revolution – will affect women and girls disproportionately," she said.

To achieve sustainable development goals, she suggested Vietnam have a systematic commitment to "leaving no one behind", and in particular, generating the conditions for decent work and access to social protection that are inclusive and respect the rights of female migrant workers in Hanoi.

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