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Event aims to help struggling migrant workers

Update: May, 15/2014 - 09:50
According to a recent survey by the union, the city's industrial parks and export processing zones now employ more than 270,000 workers, more than half female.— File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — For 23-year-old single mother Le Thi Hong Luc, a migrant worker of the Hiep Phuoc Industrial Zone in HCM City, life is series of challenges and conflicts.

Without the support of a family and close friends, Luc has struggled to find a balance between work and care of her one-year child.

At this stage in her life, Luc believes they have no future.

"I spend 10 hours a day in my workplace. I do not have enough time for my son and myself," she says.

Luc, who is just one of thousands of young women in a similar predicament, was forced to leave their native province to earn money in big cities and now does not have enough knowledge about social or reproductive issues.

Last weekend, Luc, was invited to attend a programme titled, "Talking with Migrant Workers", which was held by the HCM City's Labour Union and its partners.

The programme is part of the national event Worker Month, launched by Viet Nam General Confederation of Labour this month.

Luc and her son have received free treatment and drugs from the programme's volunteer doctors.

She has also received free advice from consultants about family planning, sexually transmitted diseases and the risks associated with drugs and prostitution.

"Thanks to the programme's experts, I have become stronger about my challenges and decisions, and have gained confidence," said Luc.

Luc is among 7,000 young people working for companies and factories in Hiep Phuoc who have received free treatment, advice and legal services under this programme.

"Our programme's members, including skilled doctors and health workers from local general hospitals, will go to foreign-invested companies, mostly located in industrial parks and export processing zones, and provide free treatment and information and advice about basic living skills, love, marriage and family life to their young workers," said Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, the union's vice chairwoman.

"Issues related to labour law and related matters, including working conditions, salary and tax policies, would be included in these discussions," she said.

Doctor Tran Quoc Hung of the Gia Dinh People Hospital said: "We are happy to help many migrant workers, especially young females, to have better lives."

Hung said most of the workers he had treated were young women aged 20 to 29, and many of them have one or two children.

"Their knowledge about social issues, health care and family planning are limited," he said. "Thanks to the programme's volunteers, we have a chance to improve ourselves."

According to a recent survey by the union, the city's industrial parks and export processing zones now employ more than 270,000 workers, more than half female.

Most of the people come from neighbouring and northern provinces, following severe financial hardship in their hometowns. They have neither the time nor money to improve their level of knowledge and education. — VNS

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