Five ASEAN nations strengthen protection of migrant rights

VOV.VN - Southeast Asian nations have growing concerns about protecting the legitimate rights of migrants, considering it a key factor in ASEAN community building.

five asean nations strengthen protection of migrant rights hinh 0
Foreign migrant workers in Thailand (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Amid globalization, migrant workers have contributed to the economic growth and sustainable development of the countries that send and receive them.

People living along the borders of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam frequently move to the neighboring country. Initiated by Thailand, the 5 countries’ Ministers of Labor and Senior Officials convened their first meeting in 2015 to seek better management of migrants.

Since then they have met every 2 years to discuss migration-related policies, social insurance, and human resource development.

Migrant management tightened

The 5 countries have cooperated to provide social welfare to migrants, share information, and build common mechanisms to better manage them.

At the 3rd Ministers of Labor Meeting held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on September 17, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said the mechanism for strengthening migrant protection between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam has proved to be effective, particularly the flexibility of its social welfare programs and the connectivity of its social insurance.

"Different economic development levels between countries encourage people near the border to migrate to the neighboring country for jobs. Most of them are low-skilled workers. This meeting’s agenda corresponds with the priority of ensuring social welfare for the increasing number of migrants among Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam," said Deputy Minister Diep.

A shared digital platform has been established to manage migrants and provide services, including training workers before departure and issuing smart cards for migrants before departure, upon arrival, and after arrival to help workers access social insurance and other services.

Deputy Minister Diep said, “Digital technology is increasingly popular. Digital technology plays an important role in sustainable employment and protection of migrant rights. It enables migrant workers to make better decisions and understand their rights. In Vietnam digitization is used effectively to manage Vietnamese guest workers abroad.”

Vietnam cooperates to protect migrant rights

Vietnam has an estimated 76,000 workers in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. The Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs has proposed mandatory insurance for foreign citizens working in Vietnam.

The nation is pushing bilateral agreements on social insurance and will sign multilateral agreements to allow workers to benefit from social security policies.